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Response to the government announcement on the Gender Recognition Certificate Fee Change

Responding to news that the cost of applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) would be reduced to £5 with immediate effect, leading trans advocacy organisation TransActual declared itself unimpressed.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Chay Brown, for TransActual said:

“Of course we welcome the reduced fee. However, this is the absolute minimum the government could do on behalf of the trans community. What we know, and what we hear from our supporters is that the system is still fundamentally broken.

“Most of the barriers to applying remain: not least the cost of amassing evidence. Moving the application process online will do nothing, on its own, to reduce the uncertainties surrounding that process. Indeed, if it is moved wholly online, then the net effect of this change could make it even harder for some trans people to apply for a GRC.

“Not least is the problem that medical experts attempting to support trans applicants find themselves faced with guidance that would have left Kafka reeling. 

“There is no clarity as to what evidence counts, what terminology may be used – and an ongoing problem that those who transitioned some years ago are frequently unable to supply documentation, either because it is no longer valid or because it has simply vanished over the years.

“The ultimate insult to the trans community is that the announcement justifies this change by reference to a Government consultation on this issue. In that consultation, a majority of respondents were in favour of simplifying the process and removing both the need for medical reports and the spousal veto – all of which would have had far more impact in reducing the costs that trans people face. The Government has ignored all of those proposals, going instead for the proposal with the least benefit to trans people.

“The Government has also ignored a growing demand for the recognition of non-binary people. This is despite a growing trend towards doing this elsewhere in the world, and despite a petition which, as of yesterday, had amassed over 100,000 signatures.

“To pick and choose which bits of a consultation you will support, while simultaneously patting yourself on the back for doing so, is disingenuous in the extreme.”

For further information or in order to arrange an interview with a spokesperson for TransActual, please
contact us.