Yesterday, Labour’s Shadow Women & Equalities spokesperson Anneliese Dodds wrote in The Guardian about Labour’s plans to reform the Gender Recognition Act. This article was accompanied by a twitter thread from Dodds expanding on some of the details of these ‘reforms’.
What Dodds and Labour propose falls far short of both internationally accepted best practice and basic human rights, and represent little more than rewording aspects of the existing Gender Recognition Act 2004 to provide the appearance of reform.
Both in her article and twitter thread Dodds gets much incorrect, including using medical terminology that is out of date, while couching these ‘reforms’ and the current toxic environment in trans hostile language, using the article and trans people to attack the Conservatives for political gain.
Like the Conservatives, Dodds and Labour are playing the same culture war games with trans lives, while trying to portray Labour as the party of trans equality. She lauds Labour’s introduction of the GRA, while conveniently omitting that the Labour Government of the time were forced via legal action to introduce this groundbreaking legislation because they were in breach of international human rights standards.
Labour’s proposals, like the existing GRA process, are over medicalised, dehumanising, demeaning, exclusionary of both young and non-binary people, and pointlessly bureaucratic, and they continue to place additional burdens on a failing healthcare system that is already near inaccessible for most trans people due to waiting lists in excess of 20 years, in turn rendering gender recognition itself inaccessible.
The ‘reforms’ also ignore multiple consultations, recommendations from enquiries held by the Women and Equalities Select Committee, numerous reports from LGBTQLGBTQ LGBTQIA+ is an inclusive term that includes people of all genders and sexualities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, and allies. While each letter in LGBTQIA+ stands for a specific group of people, the term encompasses the entire spectrum of gender fluidity and sexual identities. https://abbreviations.yourdictionary.com/what-does-lgbtqia-stand-for-full-acronym-explained.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT+ organisations and trans people, as well as international evidence from more than 20 countries and the United Nations showing that reform on the basis of self declaration presents no threat to the rights or lives of other groups, but especially women.
Instead, Dodds and Labour perpetuate the damaging myths that restricting gender recognition for transgender people, which only amends a birth certificate, provides ‘protection’ from predatory cisgender men looking to abuse this process.
These ‘reforms’ do not represent steps forward for trans equality, but instead ensure that transgender and on-binary people in the UK remain third class citizens in the UK.They are little more than the status quo with new branding, and at TransLucent we want to be perfectly clear that they will do little to help transgender and non-binary people to be able to ‘live with dignity and respect in society’, but instead will further entrench trans hostile attitudes and discrimination.
It is beyond time that politicians of all UK political parties started listening to our community instead of the lies, misinformation and distortions from the UK media and their hate group allies, and take steps to introduce real reforms for gender recognition that are fit for a 21st century UK democracy and society.