LGBT+ trade unionists and allies stand together with our trans colleagues in defending their hard-won rights and recognition. LGBT+ trade unionists and allies believe that the consultation to review the Gender Recognition Act is a necessary step in making the process of gaining a gender recognition certificate easier, demedicalised and significantly less traumatic for those who want it.
We note that the Republic of Ireland has had this policy for two years and there has been only a modest take up and no reported abuses of the system.
In Ireland similar legislation to the GRA has not resulted in more oppressive treatment of women. Instead, progress has been made in organising the pro-choice campaign on abortion rights.
It is possible for advances to be made if we link the struggles against oppression, not counter pose them negatively. “Irish government data released earlier this year showed that so far, 240 GRCs have been issued in the country — a modest take up in a country of five million people. All of the evidence to date suggests the only impact of the law has been affording vital legal recognition to the country’s trans community.” (Pink News)
We believe that transgender people do not use self-definition lightly, but often make decisions after considerable periods of gender dysphoria, real suffering and serious reflection about their personal situations.
This is not just someone “deciding to call themselves a woman” and is not a decision made to oppress women.
It is highly unlikely to lead to unwanted invasions of women’s safe spaces. In fact, women and transgender colleagues can unite together to fight for better public provision for both oppressed groups of people.
We note that Maria Miller states in the Times: “In our report we made it very clear that this would not simply be somebody being able to pull a form off the internet, sign it and call themselves a woman because that would be open to abuse.”
Her committee envisaged each person receiving “psychological support … to make sure that they’re making the right decision for them” instead of “this quasi-medicalised panel which has brought great distress to transgender people.”
We believe that the negativity surrounding the consultation is unhelpful and without substance. We don’t believe that giving the trans community the right to more easily self-identify diminishes definitions of women and men.
We believe that everyone whether they define as a man, woman or non-binary should be able to choose to live a legally recognised authentic life.
We believe that biological essentialism debates on pre-operative trans men and women are often emotional and prejudiced.
We believe that trans women are women and trans men are men. Those who want to live a legally recognised authentic life should be protected; we believe that denying their existence allows people to deny them their human rights, and this we can’t abide.
We believe that fears about cis gender men abusing the system in order to access women-only spaces, suggests that they think that cis women can’t also be predators or abusers.
We are concerned that attempts raise parallels between trans women and potential sex offenders are eerily like echoes from the 1970s rhetoric of “gay men are all paedophiles.” We believe cis gender women don’t get a free pass to abuse people just because they have XX chromosomes.
Given that the Equality Act already allows trans men and women to informally self-identify and use their choice of toilets or changing rooms, giving trans people the legal right to self-identify will not change the demographic of people going into women’s toilets or changing rooms.
We fully support the need to keep cis gender men from abusing the system and keep women safe, and keep our spaces safe for everyone including trans women and trans men.
Given that trans women are disproportionally victims of violence, they also need access to safe spaces.
There are laws to protect us from those who abuse systems and spaces. If those laws prove to be ineffective they are what need to be changed, and perhaps this could form part of the consultation.
We believe that concerns around trans men and women in sports are unfounded since those organisations already have their own regulations in place.
We believe the Gender Recognition Act reform will have no impact on statistics of male violence or any other sex-based statistics, because they will be recorded in the gender they identified as at the time of the crime.
We believe in free speech but this does not extend to hate speech, in whatever form that comes in.
To suggest that an entire group of people should be denied their rights because of a few cis gender male predators is tilting at windmills.
We believe that trans rights are not in opposition to women’s rights. We believe that a better and more successful strategy would be to link the struggle for women’s and transgender rights so that we have a greater chance of winning more social provision for oppressed groups, rather than fight among each other for fewer resources.
Annette Pryce: NUT LGBT members executive equality seat holder Mandy Hudson: NUT disabled members executive equality seat holder Paulina Blackstock: NUT black members executive equality seat holder Nicola Fields: co-founder Lesbians and Gays support the Miners (LGSM) Katy Piper: Northwest NUT member Marianne Owens: PCS national executive committee Scott Clark: PCS executive committee member Laura Miles: UCU national executive committee Steve Griffiths: PCS Proud NC member Keegan Hall-Browne: London NUT member Andy Huntley-Roe: Yorkshire-Midlands NUT member Lucy Smith: South East NUT member Chay Brown: South East NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Jake Jones: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Juno Roche: Eastern NUT member Debs Gwynn: Northwest NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Rhiannon Stow: Eastern NUT member Roz Morton: Northwest NUT member Michael Dance: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Sue Caldwell: London NUT member Eric Bateson: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Melissa Hind: London NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Dave Brinson: South East NUT member Maggie Jones: South West NUT member and LGBT+ NOF Lex Avis: Eastern NUT member Emma Ballard East: North West NUT member Colleen Johnson: Midlands NUT member Chris Rimmell: Accord member West Yorkshire Wendy Turner: PCS branch secretary Mark Dunk: Unite London and Eastern disabled members committee Peter Purton: Former TUC LGBT+ policy officer Tony Fenwick: CEO Schools OUT and LGBT+ NOF Aimee Challenor: equalities (LGBTIQA+) spokesperson, Green Party Carl Banks: GMB London member Simon Murch: NUT executive member for South Yorkshire Harry Roberts: Prospect member Gloucester Philip Girling Equity member Julie Webster: PCS member Nick Lucas: Eastern NUT member Nicky Downes: Midlands NUT member Jane Nellist: NUT executive member for West Midlands Ian Murch: NUT national treasurer Emrys Jai Abraham: Wales NUT member Tony Dowling: membership secretary, Gateshead NUT Natacha Kennedy: UCU London member Malcom Wilson: Eastern NUT member Inbar Tamari: London (Hackney) NUT member Dr Melanie Gibson: Unite member Sinead Kirwan: Bectu, Scotland Colin Wilson: Unite London member Charlie Kiss: Unison member Emma Browse: Birmingham NUT member Ruth Dodds: Birmingham NUT member Kacey Degroot: Coventry NUT member Rob Illingworth: NUT executive member for Nottinghamshire Neil Rogall: UCU London member Stephen Meloy: Musicians Union member Katie Sutton: Royal College of Nursing member, Greater Manchester Emma Runswick: BMA, Doctors in Unite (personal capacity) Monica Tetley: Unite member Hester Salusbury-Hughes: Unison (education) London member Karen Pollock: MBACP Counselling Northumberland Sam Feeney: Unison member, co-LGBT officer for Huntingdon CLP Jess Edwards: NUT executive member for inner London Andrew Stone: Joint NUT branch secretary Wandsworth NUT Helen Sheridan: PCS Bootle, branch equality officer Teresa Mary Clark: London NUT member, PCS member Claire Birkenshaw: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member Nick Wigmore: NUT executive member for Greater Manchester Catherine Jones: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member Catherine Scarlett: Yorkshire Midlands NUT member Kris Hendry: PCS member Scotland Rianna Humble: Unite member, Sertuc LGBT+ Hazel Danson: NUT executive member for West Yorkshire Gill Goodswen: past president NUT Dave Mingay: Eastern NUT member Sophie Cook: Unite member Rachel Hubbard: UCU member Bristol Pam Crossland: Unite community member, Greater Manchester Tara Stone: Be Trans Support and Development North Sam O'Brien: Unison branch communications officer, Rochdale Cel Smith: London NUT member Ellen Mellor: Unison member Gateshead Pete Gillard: Unite member Paul Topley: Eastern NUT member Michael Davern: London NUT member Simon O’Hara: Midlands NUT member Christopher Carr: NUT member, Newcastle Ben Farnworth: Manchester NUT member Graeme Edwards: ATL equalities and diversity committee member Pam Crossland: Unite Community member, Greater Manchester Dessie Barrow: Hackney NUT vice-president (personal capacity) Kate Taylor: Midlands NUT member Dav Gilchrst: Islington NUT member Floyd Codlin: PCS ARMS member Sally Kincaid: Yorkshire midlands NUT member JJ Jummer: South East NUT member Mark Everden: Unite member Bristol Adam Dusza: London NUT member Jane Bassett: Hackney NUT member Amanda Bentham: East London Teachers Association (NUT) member Lucy Cox: Brent NUT member Oliver Thornton: (South Cambs CLP LGBTQ officer) Despina Mavrou: Newham NUT member Fleur Patten: Eastern NUT and women’s NOF member Janine Elliot: Eastern rep LGBT+ NOF Doug Morgan: Birmingham NUT member Melanie Griffiths: Kirklees NUT member and school rep Jane Crich: Notts NUT member Rachel Jones: Hammersmith and Fulham NUT member Ivan Wells: Notts City NUT member Nick O'Brien: Norwich NUT member Beverly Keenan: Manchester NUT member Saira Weiner: UCU branch secretary, Liverpool John Moores University Rob Ferguson: Newham NUT member Cathy Smith: NUT national executive member for Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Paul Power: Haringey NUT member Robert Young: Birmingham NUT member and rep GMB Shout: GMB LGBTQ+ members group Kate Mayer: GMB member (school support staff), Leeds Chris Everitt: Tameside NUT Max Hyde: past president NUT Annette Wright: PCS member and rep, Manchester Phil Dickens: PCS assistant group secretary Ian Allinson: chair, Unite the Union, Fujitsu UK Miles Row: Unite member and Green Party town councillor Sue Stelfox: Prospect member, former TUC LGBT committe Sarah Jane Pattison: South West TUC executive member, GMB Felicity Flynn: assistant branch secretary; PCS MOJ associated offices branch Kathryn Ross: South West NUT member Damian Thomas: NUT association secretary for East Riding of Yorkshire Ken Muller: Islington NUT member Alexander Costello: Haringey NUT member Mike Kearney: NUT LGBT+ NOF Northern region Glen Bowman: North Tyneside NUT division secretary Kirstie Paton: Greenwich NUT assistant secretary Caroline Butchers: Carmarthenshire (NUT member) Dennis Charman: London Regional NUT retd Dr Claire Jenkins: retired member Nottinghamshire NUT Mairead Canavan: Wales NUT member and women’s NOF member Zed Lomax: Walthamstow (NUT member) Audrey Glover: Lancashire NUT Eugene Doherty: Lancashire NUT and president Lancaster and Morecambe Trades Union Council. Hilary Chuter: vice-president Lancashire NUT Mary Kerr: Kent NEU equalities Liz McLean: divisional secretary for Denbighshire NEU (NUT branch) Stuart Coe: division secretary, Northamptonshire — NUT section Floyd Codlin: PCS Arms Jane Crich: Notts NUT section member Natasha Sears: Bury NUT division secretary John Worton: Sandwell Division NEU (NUT section) treasurer (retired) Jason Dickinson: joint div sec, Carmarthenshire NEU (NUT Section) Damian Walenta: division secretary — East Riding of Yorkshire Kate Pearce: NEU Carmarthenshire (NUT section) Nicola Dixon: Northamptonshire NEU member Ben Layton: NEU Leeds member Nicola Fitzpatrick: Barnsley NUT division secretary Pete Bevis: Barnsley NUT James Bennett: Islington NEU (NUT section) Fran Postlethwaite: NUT section member Daniel Lilley: Hackney NUT member Judy Cox: NEU Tower Hamlets member Rob Hoveman: Unite member Murray Sackwild: Eastern NUT section member Luke Horton: NUT Barnsley member and communications officer Jacquie Hadfield: PCS ARMS (Associate and Retired Members) member and rep