We all want to be part of a society where we have security in work, safety in housing, support in education, and public services which are fit for purpose and meet our collective needs. This is why proper legal recognition, through an accessible process which respects our human dignity, is so important.
The announcement of the government’s response to the GRA consultation comes after a three year period that has been characterised by a rise in transphobia in the press, and a steady increase in hate crime against trans people in our streets. Trans people nonetheless fought for these changes because they might have made it easier for us to find the security and support that we all need to live with dignity and look on the future with hope, not fear.
That is why it is upsetting to hear that the Tory government is refusing to make any meaningful reforms to that legal process. Not only have important requirements such as the recognition of nonbinary genders been ignored; but the fundamental reform towards demedicalisation has been abandoned. Trans people will therefore continue to be expected to find confirmation from an array of doctors and judges just to legally validate our own existence. Reduction in cost and a “streamlining” of the process is welcome but falls short of what is needed to improve trans people’s lives.
This is not a settled issue, and we do not have to accept a substandard reform. We are eager to work with Labour’s leadership and shadow cabinet to discuss how amendments could be used to try and improve these disappointing results. It will be crucial, too, that Labour holds the government to account on their commitment to improve trans healthcare, or we risk yet another unfulfilled promise to trans people.
Now that the Tories have confirmed that they cannot be trusted to improve our lives, it is imperative that Labour mobilises and unequivocally advocates for trans rights.