It takes seconds to help stop the oppression of trans people

The shelving of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act will have devastating consequences in the UK. Here’s how you can help change that.

by Douglas Greenwood
17 June 2020, 2:29pm

Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images

In Britain, we are supposed to live in a democracy. One that purports to offer freedom and safety to everybody; where the voices of the people are recognised and their demands taken into account.

That freedom and recognition, it seems, ends when it comes to trans people. Since Boris Johnson has come into power, hiring Liz Truss as the Minister for Women and Equalities, we’ve seen suggested reforms to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act -- which would have made it less emotionally taxing for self-identifying individuals to seek treatment and help with gender dysphoria. However, as chronicled in this piece on trans women’s lived reality in Britain by VICE, those liberties have been continually oppressed by anti-trans campaigners in high profile positions.

An exclusive story that ran in The Sunday Times last week confirmed the effect they had had on policy within government. Requests to remove the need for a doctor to diagnose a trans person with gender dysphoria -- still formally considered a mental illness and therefore dehumanising -- before the person could transition were supported in public consultations in 2018. But the headline in The Sunday Times’ piece lays it out clearly: “Boris Johnson scraps plan to make gender change easier”. The data gathered from those polls -- in which over 70% agreed with the aforementioned amendment -- has been disregarded, apparently "skewed by an avalanche of responders generated by trans rights groups", government officials claim.

Furthermore, Liz Truss has decided to side with anti-trans activists and put in place “protective” measures for single sex spaces. She also has gone against thorough research that suggests barely 1% of trans people decide to detransition and is pursuing ways to stop those under the age of 18 starting their transition before puberty sets in, or as she calls it, making "irreversible decisions”. The move is harrowing, considering 2 in 5 British trans people already experience varying levels of abuse due to their gender identity. But there is a way in which we can help reverse this unjust decision.

The charity Gendered Intelligence has launched a quick and easy way for you to reach out to Boris Johnson and tell him how you feel about these dated plans that will have drastic consequences. All you need to do is enter your name, address and email, make some slight amendments to the pre-written email to get your own personalised point across and click send. Soon, Boris Johnson’s office will receive your own message -- one of many, hopefully -- expressing disdain for Liz Truss’s harrowing decisions.

“The threat of rollbacks to trans rights, dignity, and legal protections in the UK cannot be overstated,” Gendered Intelligence says on their site. “This is an issue of human rights, and of bodily autonomy and integrity. If we allow trans young people to be stripped of their agency to make decisions around their healthcare and around which toilets they're legally allowed to use, next on the chopping block will be wider rights around access to abortion and contraception.”

Yes, the liberation of trans people affects everybody -- trans or not. Do the right thing and take 45 seconds out of your day to make your voice heard.

Fill out the form by clicking here.

gender recognition act