In an effort to shed light on the UK Government’s commitment to LGBT+ equality and their own 2018 LGBT Action Plan the Women and Equalities Committee heard evidence from former members of the recently (March 2021) disbanded LGBT Advisory Panel.
Paul Martin, Jayne Ozanne, Ellen Murray spoke candidly and with authority, highlighting that despite previous optimism, positive commitments, and progress by the previous Secretary of State and the Minister for Women and Equalities, current Ministers had taken a worrying change of direction and view on engaging with the former LGBT Advisory Panel & LGBT+ communities.
Focusing on Trans people and affirming healthcare Ellen Murray pointed out that long-term capacity of the Gender Identity Clinics (GIC), and the resulting long delays in treatment, have now reached crisis point, and that despite this, the Government continues to use trans healthcare as culture war in public media.
GenderGP welcomes the witness’ focus on affirming transgender healthcare and congratulates them on the strength of their evidence.
We, like them, are increasingly worried about a lack of meaningful engagement with groups representing trans people by those in office and responsible for improvements in transgender healthcare and wellbeing services.
Of particular concern, with the disbanding of the LGBT+ Advisory Group and no official word on it’s replacement, is the lack of opportunity for community representatives to formally hold the Government to account on it’s previous record and future commitments.
The priority now MUST be to unconditionally help trans patients. Affirming guidelines for transgender healthcare are in operation worldwide, and service providers exist in the UK – we just need the Government to commit to ensuring that gender diverse people have respectful and timely access to these services.