Caroline Criado-Perez

A Pox on the Patriarchy

What’s Sex Please? We’re British

So you’re thinking about changing your sex. The good news is the government is thinking of making the process easier. The bad news is, it doesn’t look like they know what they’re doing.

Currently, if someone wants to change their birth certificate from male to female or vice versa, they must have lived for two years as their desired new gender (the government is all over the place when it comes to what they mean by sex and what they mean by gender), and they must have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

They also have to “declare that they intend to live in their acquired gender until death”. Their application is submitted to a panel who will then decide whether or not this person is eligible for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) which will mean that they are now legally a member of the opposite sex. It’s rather like becoming a citizen of a new country.

Most trans people don’t go through this process. You don’t need a GRC to change your name or pronouns for bills, with your bank, on your passport, on your driving license. You don’t need a GRC to declare yourself a member of the opposite sex for the purposes of employment or data collection. And you don’t need a GRC to receive medical treatment, such as hormones or surgery. So many trans people choose not to go through with the bureaucracy. According to government estimates as few as 1% of trans people living in Britain today have a GRC, which is why they intend to change it, to make it easier. The public consultation on the change is open until 11pm this Friday.

Many trans people feel very strongly that this change is urgently needed and are asking for the government to de-medicalise the process for legally changing sex. They want the process instead to rely on ‘self-identification’, the idea being that what sex you are is a matter of internal, personal identity, and a doctor has no place in determining someone’s identity.

They also want to remove the requirement that a person wishing to legally change sex should live in their ‘acquired gender’ for two years before applying for a GRC. It’s important to note that living in your acquired gender doesn’t mean having sex reassignment surgery – this is not necessary to legally change your sex. In fact, the majority of trans people in Britain don’t have sex reassignment surgery.

Continue reading this article at The New European

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2018 by in Uncategorized.
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