As agreed by Proud members in 2014, transgender (also known as trans) members are those who do not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. This includes, but is not restricted to, those who are intersex and non-binary.
Gender Recognition Act
In 2004 the Labour government introduced the Gender Recognition Act. At the time this was a fairly pioneering piece of legislation which allowed trans individuals to legally change their gender and obtain a replacement birth certificate for their acquired sex for the first time.
Under the legislation however individuals can incur significant costs and are required to submit evidence to a Gender Recognition Panel, proving they have lived in their acquired gender for a minimum of two years in order for their case to be considered.
In 2016 the Westminster Women and Equalities Committee published the “Transgender Report” following a wide ranging consultation. The Report contained over 30 recommendations on how the Government could improve equality for trans people in the UK, notably in terms of legislation.
The Committee recognised that the medicalised approach introduced with the Gender Recognition Act in 2004 runs contrary to the dignity and personal autonomy of the individuals seeking legal recognition of their gender. Instead they suggest moving to a system of self declaration, as is currently implemented in many countries including the Republic of Ireland
In addition the Committee also recommended updating the Equality Act 2010 to replace the protected characteristic of “gender reassignment” with “gender identity” which would increase legal protection for the trans community and, potentially, include non-binary individuals for the first time.
At Annual Delegate Conference 2017, delegates voted in support of motion A78 which condemned the government’s failure to act on the Report and supported the full implementation of the “Transgender Report” at the earliest opportunity.
Our Union believes that everyone should be treated with equal respect, regardless of gender identity or any other characteristic.
In the summer of 2018, the government launched a consultation on potential reform of the GRA for England and Wales. You can read PCS’s statement and consultation submission here
In Scotland our position was conveyed as part of the Scottish TUC LGBT+ Workers’ Committee response. A copy of this can be requested by contacting email@example.com.