Our trans, non-binary and gender-diverse young people have had to deal with a huge amount this year.

From the impact of lockdown, leaving many with no choice but to live in  hostile and abusive environments, to increased transphobic vitriol and ‘debates’ about their rights in the mainstream media. For many trans and non-binary people, this has had a hugely negative impact on their mental health, wellbeing and safety. With this in mind, today we welcome the long-waited statement from the government on their response to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation.

We’re encouraged by the news that applications for the Gender Recognition Certificate will now be moving online and that the fee will be reduced from £140 to a ‘nominal’ amount. Results of the GRA consultation showed that trans respondents felt that the GRA process was unnecessarily stressful and dehumanising, given how complex, expensive and time consuming the existing process is for many.  

We also welcome the news that three new gender clinics will be opening. However, we're disappointed that there is no mention of clinics that will specifically support young people and children under the age of 18. The young people we support at akt under the age of 18 will be hugely disappointed by this and will continue to face challenges such as long waiting times when trying to access an initial appointment. This will have a long-term and detrimental impact on trans young people’s mental health. There is also no mention of proposals that will help support our non-binary young people, which is also extremely concerning.

Finally, self-declaration was not mentioned. A de-medicalised system is something that akt fully supports, replacing the dehumanising and highly intrusive current process and respecting trans people’s rights to self-determination. We also continue to support Stonewall’s proposed reforms to the GRA and stand in solidarity with our colleagues in the LGBTQ+ sector who are fighting for trans equality and the rights of non-binary people of all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations and ethnicities. This includes organisations such as Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence, Allsorts Youth Project, GIRES, Imaan, Not Alone, Trans Bare All, Stonewall, Communi-T and Action for Trans Health. 

We  want to thank those who have stood in solidarity with trans and non-binary people. akt will continue  to fight for the rights of our trans and non-binary young people and will continue to be there for all LGBTQ+ young people who are facing homelessness or living in a hostile or abusive environment.

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