I was in an all day training course yesterday (22.09.20). As news of the GRA update came through, I saw the alerts begin to pop up on my phone. As I wasn’t in the position to give it the attention it deserved, I decided to wait until later that evening. At around 10pm last night I sat down to digest the news.
I had seen the headlines and caught a few comments, so I knew the news wasn’t as life-changing as I had hoped it might be, but I was still hoping for some wins. Instead, what I read left me with a massive sense of loss.
This was an opportunity for real change, to give trans people the simple dignity that comes with allowing them to say they are who they are, without the need for them to prove it; surely a right that should be afforded to any human being?
Instead, despite the GRA’s significant failings; despite the trans community going to great lengths to spell out why it is flawed; despite a massive 70% of those who responded to the consultation supporting the the notion that it should be easier to legally change your gender it fell way short of the mark.
Liz Truss announced that, in the opinion of the British government, the GRA as it currently stands, is fit for purpose.
On reading the words outlined in the statement all I felt was despair and a sense of hopelessness. I have waited four long years for progress, for my experience to be recognised, for a positive step away from a narrative which promotes hate, suggests that because I am trans, my life’s experience and that of those who also experience gender differently to my CIS counterparts, is deviant and as such should be discouraged.
While I will of course put on a brave face and keep the stiffest of upper lips, before I do so, I will allow myself a moment to grieve. I feel I have been let down and quite frankly I need a big hug and for those around me to say you are worth it, that we love you and that its ok to cry about this.
So this is my message to anyone out there in the community who has been affected by the announcement. It’s ok to feel hurt, it’s ok to feel let down.
To the 70%, who have come to represent our allies, I simply ask that you take a moment to put yourself in our shoes. Ask yourself how you would feel if you had just been told by someone who does not share your truth, that you are not worthy of being listened to; that your cause is not one that is currently high enough on the agenda. So sorry, try again next time.
And having given that some thought, stand by us, fight alongside us, be vocal, say it’s not fair. Fly the transgender flag on your FB profile, Twitter bio, wherever you are on Social Media. Make yourselves seen. It would mean the world to us.
Because it isn’t fair and we need you now more than ever to help us gain the recognition that should have been ours all along.
Tune into our YouTube conversation below on the subject if you would like to learn more.