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Last chance for trans people and cis allies to make their voices heard in transgender equality inquiry

Vic Parsons November 26, 2020
GRA inquiry: Tell the women and equalities committee about trans equality

A person holding a transgender pride flag outside the Stonewall Inn at a 2019 rally. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty)

Last month, a new inquiry into transgender equality was launched by British politicians. The deadline to respond to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) inquiry is Friday, 27 November.

The Women and Equalities Select Committee, chaired by Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, announced that it would be investigating the government’s proposed changes to gender-recognition laws – gathering evidence on the proposed changes and whether they go far enough – on 28 October.

The government’s proposals for reforming the GRA, announced by Tory minister for women and equalities Liz Truss in September, include placing the process of applying for legal gender recognition online, reducing the £140 application fee to a “nominal amount”, and opening three new gender clinics.

The last point, as PinkNews has reported, was not accurate – three new pilot programmes for trans healthcare were announced earlier this year, but they are wholly different beasts to the archaic system of gender clinics.

According to the committee: “The government has published its proposals for changes to the gender recognition process and set out how it plans to move forward. The Women and Equalities Committee will examine these proposals, gathering evidence on whether the government’s proposed changes are the right ones and whether they go far enough.

“This inquiry will explore what changes, if any, should be made to the existing legislation, in order for current legislation to improve transgender equality.”

The deadline for responding to the women and equalities select committee inquiry into the GRA is Friday (26 November).

Responding to the GRA inquiry.

Individuals and organisations can respond to the call for evidence.

There’s a long list of points that the committee is considering, hinging on whether the government’s response to the GRA consultation was sufficient (10 questions) and wider issues of trans equality with respect to current legislation (six questions).

Unlike the GRA consultation, the women and equalities committee GRA inquiry is a free-form response: they want you to write, in no more than 3,000 words, your response to the questions and points they have laid out.

Organisations including trans-led charity Gendered Intelligence and private trans healthcare clinic GenderGP have advice on what to include, and GI has shared its own response in a handy document.

It is possible to submit evidence anonymously – your evidence will be published on the committee’s website, but not your name or any personal details; or confidentially – the committee will read your evidence but it won’t be published. Make sure to select the box regarding this in the call for evidence.

Submissions should include an introduction to who you are – parent of a trans child? Cis ally? Member of the LGBT+ community? Anyone can respond.

Respond to the GRA inquiry here.

More: Caroline Nokes, gender recognition act, GRA Reform, transgender equality, women and equalities select committee

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