UK Government Trans Legislation Update

The UK government published its response to the Women and Equalities Committee Transgender Inquiry back in July and we were relieved that the key recommendations were met with caution, although this may change after monitoring and review. You can find the relevant recommendations and responses in full here.

This is an update on trans legislation as it stands now, starting with a synopsis of those key government responses:

On the issue of an easier administrative process to legally change sex, based on self-declaration:

trans legislation

On lowering the age of legal gender recognition from 18 to 16:

trans legislation

On making ‘trans issues’ a statutory part of the PSHE curriculum in schools:

trans legislation

The government has also not agreed to amend the ‘exemption clause’ in the Equality Act 2010, as recommended here:

trans legislation


trans legislation

This last one has a caveat: the government has already produced guidelines for service providers which prioritises the right of everyone to use the facilities matching their ‘gender identity’ over the safety of women and girls. Every parent of a daughter should read this carefully.

The government did not uphold the proposed change in the name of the protected category, from ‘gender reassignment’ to ‘gender identity,’ which may sound like a technical point but ‘reassignment’ at least acknowledges change whereas ‘identity’ just validates the idea of an innate brain difference. In practical legal terms there may be no real difference: this recent news story suggests that ‘gender identity’ has replaced ‘sex’ as the real distinction between the sexes, whatever we call the protected category. Two recent examples of violent males being sent to women’s prisons (here and here) also indicate that in the clash between gender identity-based and sex-based rights, gender identity wins.

The fact that a recent event poster circulated by Brighton & Hove police, “Celebrating Women and Girls,” invites “self-identifying women and girls” is an especially worrying indication that the definition of females has officially changed to an identity.

trans legislation

Children and young people are imbibing this message everywhere, but when an institution like the police officially sanction it, it becomes impossible for young people to challenge. The cultural normalisation of the idea that identity is the definitive marker between the sexes will gradually erode girls’ sense that they are a distinct group with a right to their boundaries.

So although it was heartening to see the government’s cautious response, the battle is far from over. On September 13 the Women and Equalities Committee hosted an event in the Commons called ‘Transgender Equality: What Next?’ at which only transgender people were invited as guest speakers. Those who had made written submissions to the Transgender Inquiry were sent invitations to attend as audience members, so a group of us went along and three of us had the chance to speak.

This was an opportunity to address MPs Maria Miller and Ruth Cadbury directly with our concerns about sterilising and medicalising non-conforming children, the protection of women-only services and facilities and the impact of ‘gender identity’ legislation on equality and the rights of women and girls. If this meeting is anything to go by, we face an uphill struggle. The lack of adequate chairing to prevent hectoring, together with some of the responses from the politicians themselves did not provide reassurance that the rights of women and girls will be seriously taken into account, nor that there is any caution around the ‘transgendering’ of children.

We gave a Transgender Trend flyer to Maria Miller and asked her to look at this site as well as the website and we are currently drawing up an impact assessment on children and adolescents to submit before the next government meeting.

Call to Action

It was clear from this event that the Women and Equalities Committee will continue fighting for changes in legislation, with no indication that they plan to listen to the other side. Transgender organisations are powerful and well-funded so it’s important that we all continue to write to our local MPs to protest the erosion of the rights of women and girls and the harm being caused to children. Many MPs have no idea of the implications of trans legislation and its real-life impact on women and children so please do write to your MP with any personal examples, or use our template. (PDF here). You can find your local MP here.

Thank you!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. SangieC

    Thank you for the important work you’re doing here – it’s very much appreciated!

  2. Yet Another Spartacus from MN

    The service you are providing is absolutely crucial. Thank you. I do have one request of letter writers, though. This is that they remember girls without parents to care for them or whose parents are unable to provide advocacy for them. Often these are the most vulnerable ‘looked after children’ in the care system or in the juvenile justice system. Many of these girls have been sexually abused. Some have been abused to the point where they accept abuse as normal. Many have a range of mental health conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety or depression, etc. These girls should have the right and access to heath facilities, care homes and justice facilities where (if appropriate) they are housed only with other girls. They should have the right to workers who are women and foster placements with at least one carer in a household who is a woman. The Equality Act of 2010 is not strong in its support of single-sex (girls’) spaces that may exclude people with male genitalia*.

    When writing your letters I ask of you that you don’t forget these girls or their situations. They have few people to speak up for them because most in the social care sector either support the trans agenda or are too scared to oppose it. Please include a note or two about these children and their needs.

    *I’m not advocating that boys on Puberty Blockers and/or with female/feminine characteristics be placed in with other males either – I’m just saying that girls’ rights and needs should not be forgotten in order to protect them.

    1. Transgender Trend

      Absolutely agree with you and thanks for pointing it out. These are the girls who are least likely to have established healthy boundaries themselves or understand they have a right to bodily integrity which others must respect. They are also amongst the group most likely to end up ‘identifying as trans’ themselves – girls from troubled backgrounds/past trauma are over-represented at gender clinics and the numbers are growing.

  3. Spartacus from MN

    Thanks for doing this. I will writing to my MP once I have read through and drafted my letter.

  4. Jan B

    Whilst I think we all need to be much more supportive toward trans and gender non-conforming people this support absolutely can not be at the expense and erasure of hard-won rights for women (and girls).
    We have a critical opportunity to ensure there is balance and that our representatives do not rush to judgment in following a trend rather than consider the very real consequences we face. For example in exposure of vulnerable females (shelters etc.) or in skewing crime statistics where male criminals are not only recorded as female but also could be contained alongside women in penitentiary institutions.
    This is a clear moment to reflect rather than to act in haste.

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