There is a month left before the Government’s consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004 closes.
It is so important that trans people, their families and their friends make sure their voices are heard. We have a once in a generation opportunity to make legal gender recognition easier, more affordable and demedicalise the process.
The GRA was the first piece of law in the UK allowing trans people to change their legal gender and their birth certificate by applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate. It was a groundbreaking piece of legislation 14 years ago but now we’ve started to fall behind other countries. The process here is long, expensive and requires evidence from two medical professionals. What’s more, it excludes those under 18 and non-binary people.
Ireland recently passed a law allowing trans people to self-identify their gender. Many trans people and organisations are campaigning for a similar process for the UK, where people can sign a statutory declaration, which is like a more official deed poll that has to be signed in front of a witnessing solicitor.
The consultation document is quite long and can be confusing. It’s also easier to access online, which can be difficult if you’re not the best with technology! To make sure everyone gets the chance to have their say, Gendered Intelligence are running two GRA workshops on 15th September and 6th October, from 12 noon to 6pm. All trans people and allies are welcome to come along to these drop in sessions.
We’ll also be running workshops in our youth groups this month so that our incredible young people can comment on a process that will have a huge impact on their future.
For the Saturday drop ins, we’ll have staff and volunteers available to explain the wording of the questions and to act as a soundboard for your ideas.
We’ll have a number of computers available for people to use, along with paper copies of the form that we can post back to the Government for you. But if you’re coming and have a laptop, it would be helpful if you could bring that along with you. There’ll also be snacks and teas and coffees available to sustain you while you’re deep in thought!
In our youth groups, Cara, our Policy Engagement Officer, will give a short presentation on what the GRA is, what it means and what we have been doing as an organisation through the whole process. Then we’ll have a discussion about some of the issues which will also give our young people the opportunity to ask more detailed questions.
This is a great opportunity for us to hear thoughts from more members of the community, including our young people. This will help inform our responses, ensuring we’re properly representing our community and working for the best outcome for everyone!
We’ll be hosting the Saturday workshops in Central London and you can book a slot to come along here: https://gra-dropin.eventbrite.co.uk