On 26 January 2022, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) released two statements in response to legislative plans to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales, and Gender Recognition Act reform in Scotland.

The statements and its recommendations represent a disappointing and continued disregard for our communities. The calls for delays in legislation is a move that prevents LGBTQ+ people from accessing improved rights and protections.

Our report found that one in six LGBTQ+ young people were forced to commit sexual acts against their will by family members before they became homeless. Whilst not explicitly stated, many of these young people will have been subjected to some form of ‘conversion’ therapy. We are failing to protect these young people if we choose to delay legislation to end this abhorrent practice once and for all.

40 per cent of our service users identify as trans or non-binary and our report showed how trans young people experiencing homelessness were more likely to have faced abuse. 74 per cent of young trans people said their family members repeatedly belittled them to the extent that they felt worthless before they became homeless.

The discrimination that trans young people face does not end when they leave home. One in five young trans people stated they faced discrimination when accessing support because they were trans, and the same number had experienced misgendering or deadnaming while accessing services. We should be looking at ways to improve support available to trans people not creating a sense of distrust in the community as to whether institutions will protect their human rights.

We stand in solidarity with our community and will be signing an open letter with other LGBTQ+ organisations to the ERHC and we encourage others to do so. If you are a young person who has been affected by this news please reach out to us, we are here to help

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