Reforming the Gender Recognition Act - RightsInfo

Reforming the Gender Recognition Act


We’re Listening To The Voices Most Affected | #GRAreform


The Gender Recognition Act (GRA) was ground-breaking when it was passed 14 years ago as the result of a human rights case brought by Christine Goodwin. It allowed trans people to legally change their name on their birth certificates.

But, as trans rights have advanced globally, it has become clear that there are many problems with the legislation. Many say the process is overly invasive, humiliating and bureaucratic – and can take as long as five years to complete.

In response to the government’s consultation on reforming the GRA for England and Wales, which closes at the end of this week on Friday October 19th 2018, there has been a great deal of media coverage which paints trans people as a threat to our society.

This is reminiscent of how certain sections of the media covered lesbian and gay rights in the 1980s. Hostile coverage only serves to foster division and make people with genuine questions reluctant to ask them.

We want to inspire people to think again about these reforms from an empathetic and well-informed perspective.

That is why over the next week we will be running a mini-series on the proposed GRA reforms focusing on the voices of the people affected most: trans people and their families.


Growing Up Transgender | Mother of a trans child

My child and all trans kids know way too much about hate, about discrimination, about cruelty, about rejection. I’m trying to teach my daughter to be strong, to set her sights high to believe she can do anything. But she is already learning that her government can deny her rights. That the government, which does not now, and has never had a trans MP, wields the overwhelming power to prevent her changing a piece of paper, which will continue to state ‘male’ into her distant future.

Christine Burns MBE

‘Self ID’ was the unfortunate name chosen for what is merely simplification. But the purpose and effect of the GRA will remain what it always was: a means for trans people — and trans people alone — to update a document that otherwise doesn’t describe their lived reality and exposes them to discrimination.

Chwarae Teg, Welsh Women's Organisation

This change will remove the complex and prohibitive barriers, including cost, which disproportionately affect disabled, BAME, unemployed and other trans women who are the most vulnerable. It will bring our legal process in line with the way we already behave as a society. We do not believe that it will impact the safety and protections that women have, and need, nor will it affect the Equalities Act 2010.

Help us increase understanding and support for human rights in the UK.