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Simplified gender-recognition process a must, says TUC conference

TRADE UNION representatives at the TUC LGBT+ conference today heard that the government should introduce a “simplified, free, statutory” gender recognition process.

Shadow women’s and equalities minister Charlotte Nichols told delegates that Labour would “resist any attempts to roll back hard-won rights” and were “committed to updating 2004’s Gender Recognition Act in order to introduce self-declaration for trans people.”

A statement debated by delegates said that in the two years taken by the government to respond to its consultation on the Act, trans people had been “forced to continue with a lengthy, humiliating, and expensive process to change their gender.”

“We do not believe the government’s proposed reforms will come close to meeting the stated aim of making the process of acquiring a gender recognition certificate ‘kinder and more straightforward’ for the trans community,” it said.

The discussion was chaired by National House Building Council Staff Association leader Julia Georgiou, who said she was currently “the only trans general secretary of a union in the TUC — so go me!”

The National Education Union’s (NEU) Kacey de Groot recalled “the fear and terror of actually thinking that you could be a trans woman and a secondary school teacher,” and contrasted the “fantastic” acceptance of her students with the “horror and the processes of medical gatekeeping.”

Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) delegate Saorsa Tweedale pointed out that up to two billion people lived in parts of the world where self-identification was the norm.

“We need to get off our knees, throw away the begging bowl and celebrate our lives and loves by putting protest and politics back into the heart of [the Pride movement],” she said.

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