To put it incredibly simply, the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, “Trans people are able to receive legal recognition of their acquired gender through a process set out in the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004.”
According to Democratic Audit UK, the reenacted Gender Recognition Act in 2014, which was a momentous legislation, “entitled transgender (trans) individuals those who self-identify with a gender differing from their birthed assign sex, to obtain a formal acknowledgement of they’re preferred male or female identity”. The 2004 Act did not recognise non-binary gender.
The Act without a requirement for physical medical interventions, such as gender-confirming surgery or mandatory sterilisation. The UK law served as a blueprint for reforms that followed suit in other European jurisdictions, including Spain and Portugal. In 2014 It officially recognised preferred gender (referred to as ‘acquired gender’.
In 2017 the act no longer stood as ‘best practice’ however as people from the trans and non-binary community, demanded more rights, and the Act was seen as outdated.
The Gender Recognition Act was proposed to be reformed in 2017, by the government which placed the UK as the ‘vanguard’ for championing Trans rights. The British government posted a consultation of reform of the Gender Recognition Act and found that many Trans respondents who knew about GRC’s (Governance, risk and compliance) had not applied for this because 38% said the process was too beurocratic, and 34% said it was too expensive.
The British governments aim is to make the experiences for Trans people better, whilst encouraging and maintaining safeguarding measures. Therefore as it stands this means existing arrangements for separate sex facilities and spaces like; gyms, changing rooms, and toilets will remain. Whilst the minimum age for legal recognition will remain at 18.
According to Gov.UK, “Since the GRA came into force, only 4,910 people have legally changed their gender. This is fewer than the number of trans respondents to the government’s LGBT survey, who were clear that they wanted legal recognition but had not applied because they found the current process too bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive. The government, therefore, seeks your views on how to reform the legal recognition process.”
To my American and Canadian followers: in case you're wondering why there's a sudden uptick in British ppl losing their minds about trans ppl, it's because the Gender Recognition Act (ability to change legal sex) has just entered a process of reform.
— Morgan M Page (@morganmpage) July 5, 2018
— Women and Equalities (@WomenEqualities) July 3, 2018
Well said! It’s a shocking rewriting of events to paint the transphobes as heroes for spreading ongoing transphobic disinformation and lies about the Gender Recognition Act #NotGood
— Stephe Meloy (@Staircase2) July 4, 2018
“So all I have to do if the government changes the Gender Recognition Act is go online and sign and print and I can be in changing rooms with women and young girls? Rape crisis centres? That’s it? Lolz” …… yes. That’s it. …..men just like these … pic.twitter.com/whrlIo74wN
— Jean Hatchet (@JeanHatchet) July 2, 2018
When filling out the Gender Recognition Act Consultation and reading about the terrible things trans women suffer please think of Bethany Hill. She was killed by Kayleigh Woods who is a trans identified male. She had been tortured, bound with tape and had her throat slashed. pic.twitter.com/bY3t6H4A3i
— Jean Hatchet (@JeanHatchet) July 4, 2018
If the reform of the Gender Recognition Act is going to be the issue of the summer it might help everyone if presenters understood the difference between biological sex & gender. The difference should be central to the debate. #r4today
— Pamela Osborn (@pamelacuna) July 3, 2018
Here is the Gender Recognition Act consultation. The govt are keen that you understand it the right way. It seems to be this. “Women are pretty mean. Especially those lesbians.” https://t.co/pcSDMtKoFg
— Jean Hatchet (@JeanHatchet) July 3, 2018
Earlier today #TUCLGBT Committee delivered a statement on the ongoing Gender Recognition Act ‘debate’ and recent developments in some areas of the press.
A copy of this statement is available below for members reference. pic.twitter.com/2rL38J1uwT
— PCS Proud (@pcs_proud) July 6, 2018
Just had a conversation with a Muslim sister I know about the whole trans agenda. She completely understood exactly what I was saying and the implications of the gender recognition act. Such a relief to talk to another woman I know in real life about this issue.
— kitty corr (@kittycorr33) July 2, 2018
The government is opening a consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act and this dear hearts is the Minister for Women & Equalities opening salvo: pic.twitter.com/iDNy2pv8OK
— Father Jack (@urcrazytoo) July 3, 2018
I don't agree Hazik, we can all disagree about many subjects but JB isn't anti Islam. I'v bn following @bindelj's work 4 last few yrs & she is a shero. Current debate around Gender Recognition Act will affect Muslim women 2, but I haven't seen any org b as brave as Julie et al
— YOLO (@nina_mrs_mummy) April 21, 2018
The British government have put out a consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004, for reform. They want to hear from you about your views on this, and ways we can work with communities side by side in harmony. The consultation will go on for 16 weeks coming to a close at 11pm on 19 October 2018. Share your perspective here.
Hanan is an editor at Amaliah. She has a Masters in Media in the Middle East from SOAS University. Trainee of the Muslim Women in Media institute Annual Cohort at UC Davis, California. Her interests lie in ethical fashion, modern-day slavery, and when not making Youtube videos she is somewhere in between Ballet and Kickboxing. King Julian is her spirit animal.