Protesters criticise UK plans to scrap self-identifying policies

Protesters gathered outside the Senedd in Cardiff following claims self-identifying updates to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) will be dropped.

Self-identifying policies would mean transgender people could change their gender legally without the need of a medical diagnosis.

In an article released by the Sunday Times, self-identifying updates to the GRA will be dropped according to a government source.

This is the second protest to take place in the Welsh capital this year concerning the GRA, with a protest taking place in June at Cardiff Castle following similar concerns.

According to the article, the £140 fee for changing your gender legally will be reduced but a medical diagnosis for gender dysphoria is still needed.

Despite over 70% of 100,000 respondents in 2018 backing demedicalising gender recognition, concerns have come from activists following years of delays.

Organiser of the protest, Rudy from Cardiff, feels the UK government have “swept aside” the trans community.

“They’re disregarding a 70% majority and consultation and it just goes to show that they are not interested in what the people want” he said.

“The GRA reform has been talked about for nearly 3 years and the government have kept pushing it back”

“It’s frustration with the fact we’ve tried to play by their rules, we’ve sat at the table and they’ve sort of swept us aside”.

Activists gathered outside the Senedd to share their thoughts about the recent claims
(Image: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

In a response released today by Minister of Women and Equalities, Lizz Truss, the MP addressed the reform in a statement claiming that it is not a “top priority” for transgender people.

The statement read: “We have also come to understand that gender recognition reform, though supported in the consultation undertaken by the last government, is not the top priority for transgender people”

“Trans people tell us that waiting lists at NHS gender clinics are too long. I agree, and I am deeply concerned at the distress it can cause”

Chief Executive of LGBT+ charity Stonewall, Nancy Kelley, called the handling of the GRA reform as a “shocking failure in leadership”.

The statement read: “All trans people deserve to be respected for who they are. Reforming the Act could have brought England and Wales in line with our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland, who have had a de-medicalised, self-determination system for gender recognition since 2015 without any problematic repercussions”

“It’s a shocking failure in leadership that after three years and a robust public consultation, the UK Government has put forward only minimal administrative changes to improve the process for legal gender recognition of trans people in England and Wales”.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government released a statement criticising the UK Government’s handling of the GRA, including the issue of trans people using single-sex facilities such as toilets.

Activists such as Rudy have praised the Welsh Government for listening to the trans community here in Wales.

He said: ” We’ve had open dialogue with ministers directly and we’re hoping that’s ongoing .

“Welsh Government listen to what we have to say instead of commissioning some report that they’re going to look at in 3 years time and not listen anyway”.

When asked about the reform, a spokesman from the Welsh Government said any reform affecting Wales would be “scrutinised”.

He said: “The Welsh Government is committed to advancing the equality of the trans community, and equality for all. We are in the course of revising our Transgender Action Plan to ensure we are using all levers at our disposal to make this a practical reality for trans people in Wales”

Any announcement made by the UK Government on the GRA, which has an impact in Wales, will be scrutinised against this standard.”

WalesOnline – Cardiff