The process to legally change gender in the UK would get much simpler under new proposals.
Recommendations were made by the House of Commons women and equality committee, and would dramatically overhaul the gender recognition process for trans people.
Whereas in the past transgender people have been made to undergo a lengthy process including medical and psychiatric evaluations, the new process would allow people to change gender by filling in a form.
The committee has spent months looking at transgender discrimination, and is expected to make the recommendation that trans people should not have to undergo the traumatic tests in order to qualify for a Gender Recognition Certificate.
They would not have to prove that they have gender dysphoria, and would not have to prove that they have lived as their “acquired” gender for two years before being able to legally change their gender.
The report will be published this month is expected to say that Britain should adopt a similar system to that which was implemented in Ireland last year.
Ireland’s government has put its revolutionary new Gender Recognition Act into effect – meaning that from transgender people can gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor.
Until then, the Republic of Ireland has provided no legal recognition for transgender people at all – but following a protracted legal battle with trans woman Dr Lydia Foy, the government committed to passing a trans recognition law.
The bold new Gender Recognition Bill, which passed through Parliament in July without issue, includes sweeping changes to allow transgender people to gain legal recognition without seeing a doctor or requiring medical treatment.
A petition to Downing Street to do the same as Ireland has been signed by over 35,000 people.
According to the Sunday Times, the new Irish gender recognition law is a “model that could just be copied out”.
The paper reports that senior figures in all parties have asked for the law, introduced 11 years ago, to be overhauled to make it less “embarrassing” to change gender.
“We have moved beyond the point where we need to consider being transgender as a psychiatric condition,” a senior Tory told the Sunday Times.
Former culture secretary Maria Miller, who heads up the committee has revealed that she has been shocked by testimony on trans issues.
Mrs Miller said including gender on documents like passports and driving licences can cause issues for trans people, and called for the UK to “degender” them.
Under the current process, many trans people opt not to apply for a gender recognition certificate.
This can lead to issues, however, such as that of trans woman Vicky Thompson, who was found dead in a men’s prison late in 2015.
The Mermaids charity, which provides support to young people with gender identity issues, has reported that the number of children who speak out whilst still in school has risen to as many as 80 per year.
One school in the North West of England refused a request for an 8 year-old child to be identified as a male.