The campaign against gender recognition

Joanna Cherry’s article in the New Statesman (archive link) gives a handy summary of the myths and scaremongering used by the anti-trans campaigners to oppose trans rights. It starts with the headline.

“Our fears have nothing to do with transgender women,” claims Cherry. No, only “Predatory men” who could self-identify their way into women’s prisons, services and sports. She quotes a Scottish minister saying predatory men don’t pretend to be anything else, then swoops on it. Of course predatory men don’t admit they are predatory, often not even when in prison for rape, but what the Minister meant was that they don’t pretend to be women. If Cherry had any better arguments, or less trust in the blind prejudice of her audience, she would not have stooped to creatively misunderstand that as she did.

She does not address the fact that predatory men could self-identify their way into women’s services now. Trans women do not need a medical diagnosis to do so. We get in, under the Equality Act. The EHRC, before its institutional capture, said so. A medical diagnosis is impractical. Doctors know we are trans women because we believe we are women, want to be women, or want to be treated as women. Anyone might hear us say that, and be no less likely to tell future detransitioners from those of us who never do than doctors are.

A predatory man need only pretend to be a trans woman. No-one would ask him to show a gender recognition certificate, a diagnosis or even anything with a female name. Violent men push the door open, or attack women in the street. Deceitful men love-bomb and charm their victims, then increase their control carefully, grinding down the victim’s ability to resist. They don’t pretend to be trans.

Would a mediocre male athlete transition to compete against women, given the appalling hatred and vilification Laurel Hubbard faced? If so, a GRC would not let him do that. Sporting bodies can exclude “transsexual persons”, which includes those of us with a GRC, under the Equality Act 2010 s195, if it is necessary for fair competition or for safety.

Cherry says the Scottish Bill does not define “gender”. Well, the word is far more useful in academia than in law. Feminists can say that gendered expectations and treatment are patriarchal oppression, or talk of gender stereotypes, but in law you need only say that self-identified transgender women should be treated as women, which in effect is what the Equality Act does. Cherry refers to the Scottish appeal judges (the Inner House of the Court of Session) but unaccountably does not quote them saying that a trans woman without a GRC can truthfully say she is a woman, even where there is a public interest in truth and criminal penalties for falsehood.

The Gender Recognition Act was a step forward in recognising trans people’s human rights at the time, as required by the European Court of Human Rights, but only a tiny proportion of trans people have a GRC because it is expensive and humiliating to apply for one, as the Women and Equalities Committee report found. Cherry repeats the same tired old lies, despite them being refuted again and again.

Cherry claims 16 year olds need protection from gender recognition. But, they cannot get puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones without a recommendation from a psychiatrist and an endocrinologist, independent of legal gender recognition.

Finally, an MP and QC, supporting the policy of the Westminster government, apparently supported by the EHRC, who has cited billionaire author JK Rowling and mentioned social media being awash with arguments, writing in the New Statesman, though she could have chosen the Scotsman, Herald, Times, or Guardian, complains of the power of the trans lobby “silencing” critics. It would be funny if it were not terrifying.

Idleness .*oil on canvas .*111 x 73 cm .*signed b.l.: J. W. Godward 1900

Gender Recognition report

The report of the Women and Equalities Committee on Gender Recognition (GR) Reform strongly condemns the government. They say the refusal of ministers to properly engage with their enquiry is “inexcusable” (Recommendations, para 6). The Government Equalities Office (GEO) delay in responding to the GRR consultation “exacerbated tensions” between trans people on one side, and trans-excluders and anti-trans campaigners on the other, but also “caused real distress” to many trans people (Recommendations, para 4).

However Liz Truss (para 64) has indicated she will ignore the report, saying Continue reading

Trans people, standing up for ourselves

Trans people tell our life stories.

After an enquiry by a parliamentary committee in 2016, a consultation, ministerial foot (and knuckle) dragging, we now have another enquiry by the same committee, and trans folk are fed up. In evidence to the committee, Genie put it brilliantly:

You shouldn’t still be asking these questions; please make trans people’s lives easier and do what you said you were going to do, or leave us completely alone. This has become policy theatre to appease bigots, and we know you know that.

Debbie wrote, “We are not what is between our legs. We are not the shape of our chests. We are not our pasts.”

Deborah wrote, “We’ve always been here, we always will be. The government can either treat us as equals, or join the oppressors.”

Emma writes, “You shouldn’t have to pay to be your gender”.

I have not read all the evidence, and brilliant clear exposition of the issues shines out of trans people’s submissions. People told their experiences:

One of my earliest memories is being six years old and crying at a dance competition because I couldn’t wear dresses like the other girls. That was 1975. I very quickly learned that I had to conform, hide who I was. Over the years, this has caused mental issues. When puberty hit, I became a troubled teen, desperate to fit in. I ran away from home and was in trouble with the law, but somehow, I came through that. … At fourteen, a child psychiatrist diagnosed it as disassociate personality disorder, which meant he knew the person he was talking to wasn’t me. I went to university, I fell in love, I married and I had children. Eventually, the façade broke too much to be fixed. It’s hard to maintain. As I approached forty I became anorexic and withdrawn. Eventually, after therapy, I told my wife what the reasons were. I’d finally come to understand myself who I was. Pre-internet I had zero access to information, between 1995 and 2005 I didn’t dare look, for fear of what I’d find. Before 2010, it was still sordid. And then we got the first glimpses of being accepted. I finally could admit to myself first and others after, who and what I was. This wasn’t a perversion. I started the process of transitioning in 2012 and this process turned a dour, dark, depressed individual into somebody who was finally happy inside and out. I’m accepted for who I am at work and with friends. The recent furore over the gender recognition certificate has turned the UK back into a toxic environment for trans people. I can’t go back. I’ve been in the light, a return to darkness would kill me.

“Jane Doe” is a transmedicalist. She writes,

GRC is for those meeting a diagnosis of Transsexual, a permanent desire to make a change. Transgender is a broader term and includes many people who consider their identity fluid. It is to be expected that only a small subset of those identifying as transgender would be eligible for / find it appropriate to acquire a GRD. In essence you are conflating Transsexual and Transgender – they are different.

She is in error. Many people now on the waiting list for gender clinics identify as trans women, but most of them want hormones and surgery.

Opening a tranche of the evidence files, I found eleven trans women and one trans man. The Revd. Alex Clare-Young is a minister in the URC. He had his GRC application rejected because he did not give medical reasons for not having received particular medical treatments. He objects to “discussing one’s genitalia with a panel of strangers”. Bravely, he writes of his experience of assault.

it was extremely difficult for me to access smear tests, despite the fact that I still had a cervix when I reached the eligible age. The system simply didn’t recognise me because in order to change my gender to male, it also changed my sex to male.

Unlike Jane, he stands up for all trans people including gender fluid and nonbinary people.

Katherine disagrees with me. I don’t expect all trans people to have one view. She writes, “I have no personal objection to being transgender being considered through a medical lens, but I know some people do, so I’d just say it’s not a trivial issue.” She too suffered sexual assault, and worries about accessing services.

Nova writes,

I am 22 years old and I’m Transgender. I am currently on the waiting list to see a gender specialist for Hormone replacement therapy and a diagnosis of gender dysphoria. For all my life, I have felt uncomfortable in my skin. I used to dream about being the opposite sex, wearing their clothes, living their life, being regarded as one of them and not what my outer appearance betrays. For in My head, I have a brain that does not match my body. And looking back, all the awkward moments in my childhood make sense, I was being forced to live a lie.

Haters might pick on the mention of clothes, but it’s not about clothes: it’s about expressing our true selves.

She says that GPs should be able to diagnose gender dysphoria and prescribe hormones. The criteria are not difficult. That would get rid of the waiting lists. She dislikes the waiting period: “We are treated like defective machines that must prove they are defective by playing what you believe is “dress up” for two years only to then be assessed by two people just to decide if actually, this is just our natural state of being.”

Alexis makes the obvious point that if the WHO says gender incongruence is not an illness, a diagnosis is otiose. I hope they get that point. She says people don’t get GRCs because it’s expensive and makes no practical difference to our lives. She says how the hate campaign has made trans people afraid. So many of us could make the same points.

Jay is a healthcare professional. She says trans people wait a year even for private treatment. She only legally changed her name one year ago despite transitioning five years ago and using the name informally. She is now concerned she might not be entitled to a GRC because of the delay.

Desirae: “Being trans is not a disease.” She thinks a GRC should be no harder to get than a passport. She has not suffered discrimination, but waited three years to get a first appointment to a GIC.

It is compelling stuff. I assume a researcher will read the evidence, distilling the main points and arguments for the MPs.

Evidence for gender recognition reform

The Women and Equalities Committee is seeking evidence on gender recognition reform. This is torture. The WEC in 2016 took evidence and decided that trans legal rights should be improved. Then the Tory government said no. Then Theresa May, then Prime Minister, in 2017 said trans legal rights should be improved in this small, merely symbolic way. Then they delayed and delayed and delayed. Then Liz Truss said no. This phrase Truss used, “kinder and more straightforward”, while retaining all the unkind and Byzantine bits, was particularly cruel. It’s an attempt at gaslighting, failed in my case as I am clear about my own perceptions, and it is painful, hope given then slowly withdrawn.

The deadline is 27 November.

Trans and LGBT+ groups can give evidence on the effects on trans people as a whole. Lawyers can debate the meaning of the various provisions. For individuals, the main evidence is personal experience. No, the system now does not work, and this is why. Any number of trans people, all saying why the system is unworkable and humiliating, might help. Why should the Gender Recognition Panel be entitled to know what is between my legs? “Have you had the operation?” It’s the question the tolerant, curious members of the public ask trans women, to find whether we are “real transsexuals” or not. It is humiliating.

How does it make you feel?

How has it affected you? With Theresa May tantalising us in July 2017, and the hate campaign waged ever since by anti-trans campaigners in The Times and elsewhere, what experience have you of anti-trans hate? Some certainty, with the law reformed and not going to be reformed again, might help. When have you been excluded? When have you been unwelcome? When have you felt unwelcome?

If I give evidence about the humiliation, it may be published on line under my name. I can ask for my name to be withheld, or for the evidence to be considered but not published, and I have no idea whether they would do that. I hope the committee would not put my name, which could be found by google, next to an account of my experiences. However, putting my name might make my evidence stronger. I am prepared to put my name to this.

There are eleven MPs on the committee: six Tory, four Labour, one SNP. None are out as trans or nonbinary, and two appear to be men, the rest women. I have not heard of them. Caroline Nokes, the chair, appears to be an ally. I assume they have researchers to assist.

The questions are lengthy and detailed. They give scope for trans people to give our personal experience, to show why the system is not working.

Some can be given a clear answer. “Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?” Of course. When the ICD changes in January 2022, gender dysphoria will not be classified as an illness, and it is not an illness now. Some people are trans. We know we are trans. There should be no requirement for psychiatrists to be involved, any more than you need a psychiatrist to certify you are gay before you have a same-sex marriage. That this is so clear says something about Truss’s refusal to reform the system. Doctor’s letters are expensive and unnecessary, yet she retains the requirement.

I am not ill. ICD 11 confirms I am not ill. To require me to get a letter from a specialist psychiatrist saying I am not ill in a particular way is ridiculous.

Some of the questions are very wide. “What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?” Design your own system.

Unfortunately, there is the question “Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is reform or further guidance needed?” It gives transphobes an excuse to vomit their hate.

These are my answers to the questions. I have not decided whether to give evidence. Evidence should not be published elsewhere. If it is longer than 3000 words you should give a summary.

Will the Government’s proposed changes meet its aim of making the process “kinder and more straight forward”?

No.

Should a fee for obtaining a Gender Recognition Certificate be removed or retained? Are there other financial burdens on applicants that could be removed or retained?

The fee should be no greater than for a duplicate birth certificate. Doctor’s letters cost money. If you have a GRC, tell of the worry and expense. If not, say what has deterred you. If you can’t yet, say what difference it might make.

Should the requirement for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria be removed?

Yes (see above).

Should there be changes to the requirement for individuals to have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years?

It should be possible to get a GRC before living in the acquired gender. Though the NatWest bank had a policy allowing change of gender, the ignorant man who served me did not know it, and demanded that I produce a passport in my new name before he would change my name on my account. I had to complain about him. The time I need a GRC is when I change all my details. So, giving evidence:

What is your view of the statutory declaration and should any changes have been made to it?

It should record only that I am trans, and what my gender is, in the words I choose.

Does the spousal consent provision in the Act need reforming? If so, how? If it needs reforming or removal, is anything else needed to protect any rights of the spouse or civil partner?

If the spouse or civil partner objects to gender change, the marriage is over. Either the objection or the change could be construed to be “unreasonable behaviour” so there is grounds for divorce for either party. The other party should not be able to block gender recognition. Again, the call is for “evidence”- I might leave that question for those who have had a spousal refusal of consent. If you have had that experience, give evidence.

Should the age limit at which people can apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) be lowered?

Yes. Again, if you have had the experience of transition before age 18, or knowing you wanted to, tell the committee about it.

What impact will these proposed changes have on those people applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate, and on trans people more generally?

Virtually none. Here is the Ministerial statement. The changes are to “place the whole procedure online”, which makes no sense- you swear or affirm a statutory declaration before a solicitor or magistrate, and cannot do that online. And to reduce the fee of ÂŁ140, which is not the main expense.

What else should the Government have included in its proposals, if anything?

Remove the requirement for evidence of living in the acquired gender. My word should be sufficient. Giving evidence to the committee, explain what difficulty you had getting the necessary documents. I sent off wage slips. Not everyone has them.

Does the Scottish Government’s proposed Bill offer a more suitable alternative to reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004?

Yes. I wrote about the draft bill. It is better in that it removes the requirement for evidence of living in the acquired gender, and the need for a diagnosis, but the waiting time is unnecessary.

Wider issues concerning transgender equality and current legislation:

Why is the number of people applying for GRCs so low compared to the number of people identifying as transgender?

Expense, delay, and the ability to get passport and driving licence without a GRC. I have not shown my GRC to anybody. It did not change my rights, my self-perception or others’ understanding of me in any way. If you do not have a GRC, say why not.

Are there challenges in the way the Gender Recognition Act 2004 and the Equality Act 2010 interact? For example, in terms of the different language and terminology used across both pieces of legislation.

Getting a GRC does not affect trans women’s rights to be in women’s spaces. The relevant provisions are in schedule 3 of the Equality Act. Paragraphs 26-27 allow services to be for one sex, and paragraph 28 allows trans women to be excluded from women’s services. Lawyers can interpret the provisions. For evidence, write of any time you have been excluded, or felt uncomfortable or unwelcome. For example, I have been stared at in the changing room of swimming pools, and felt uncomfortable, though I have a right to be there. Quakers have been divided.

Are the provisions in the Equality Act for the provision of single-sex and separate-sex spaces and facilities in some circumstances clear and useable for service providers and service users? If not, is reform or further guidance needed?

The thought of complaining or raising court action about exclusion terrifies me. Evidence would be useful if you have been excluded, or have complained.

Does the Equality Act adequately protect trans people? If not, what reforms, if any, are needed

No. Remove the ability to exclude one or all trans women from women’s spaces. We can be excluded, just like any other women, if we behave in an unmanageable or objectionable way. Write of your experience of being excluded, or of being unwilling to access a service.

The Equality Act should ban discrimination on the ground of gender, not only of sex and “gender reassignment”. If there were a protected characteristic of gender, no-one could enforce gender stereotypes. That would please the TERFs, as well as trans people. For example, you could be required to dress to a certain standard at work, but not required to wear skirts.

What issues do trans people have in accessing support services, including health and social care services, domestic violence and sexual violence services?

Are legal reforms needed to better support the rights of gender-fluid and non-binary people? If so, how?

Give evidence of your experience.

Can you affect the committee report? The Women and Equalities Committee reported on trans rights, and recommended worthwhile reforms. I fear those six Tories want to roll back the recommendations. Trans groups will reply. I will too, for what it’s worth. But again, I will be required to tell my deepest anguish, and possibly have it published under my name, with little chance of any good coming of it. The government batted away the last WEC report. I have, nevertheless, sent in evidence.

Parliament supports trans rights

Liz Truss spoke to Parliament about her refusal, three years after the announcement, to reform gender recognition after all. MPs eviscerated her, though two other Tories spouted “feminist” anti-trans claptrap, using the same words as any other anti-trans campaigner. Here is the transcript: or view the debate.

Truss claimed there are “proper checks and balances”- the humiliations the consultation overwhelmingly opposed- and that it is “important that we protect single-sex spaces”. Note she does not use the term “women’s space”, having learned to avoid it from the haters. When she says “It is also important that under-18s are properly supported in line with their age and decision-making capabilities” she means she wants to restrict treatment for trans children. Even after three years she could give no date when her paltry improvements will come into force. The Tory transphobe MPs echoed her language: Felicity Buchan said retaining “single-sex spaces” in women’s refuges would “protect vulnerable women”, though many women’s refuges welcome trans women, and Jackie Doyle-Price asked her to “reconfirm her support for single-sex spaces”. Previously, Doyle-Price has voted against gay rights, against equal marriage, against retaining EU human rights, for repealing the Human Rights Act, and to repeal the EHRC’s duty to work for a society without unjust discrimination. Felicity Buchan normally tamely follows her whip, but has spoken out in hate of trans women. They are just the kind of allies trans-excluders would have.

Even other Tories supported trans rights. Crispin Blunt said the trade minister should not have the Equalities brief as well. He asked if Truss understood the “crushing disappointment” trans people felt at her announcement, made without good reason. He talks of trans-excluders’ fears, “void of evidence”. “Younger people in particular are more starkly intolerant of the cruelty of wider society’s inhumanity towards trans people. The vast, vast majority of lesbian, gay and bisexual people will stand in solidarity with trans people.” Shaun Bailey spoke of how trans people feel “locked out” of health care by waiting lists. Sara Britcliffe wanted “to find a way to make the path to self-determination not only cheaper but easier”. Nicola Richards spoke of trans people’s frustration with the “lack of substance” in Truss’s response. Elliot Colburn, who is gay, said “I stand by the trans community”, and asked “that we will make those changes that cost so little but mean so much to trans people”. David Mundell wondered if the new clinics were sufficient. Peter Gibson said the business community supported trans people- 200 company leaders wrote in support of trans rights. Christian Wakeford wanted more than the government promised.

Opposition MPs revealed the full hypocrisy and nastiness of the Tory government. Marsha de Cordova, shadow Secretary for Women and Equalities, said the delay was unacceptable, the debate was toxic, and the Government have let trans people down. She spoke of “the rise in transphobia and misogyny”- the two are linked. Labour will continue to support self-declaration.

Anne McLaughlin of the SNP said there was need for education to show trans rights do not encroach on others’ rights: “The Minister has failed on that front”. She pointed to the Scottish government’s better record on reform. She asked, does Truss “recognise the need to comply with international human rights law?” Truss said she did, just after making a statement indicating she doesn’t. Stuart McDonald for the SNP said Truss’s position was “a breach of human rights”.

James Murray, Labour, spoke of the consultation’s overwhelming support for trans rights, and asked, “Why have the Government taken so long to respond, only to ignore the wishes and destroy the hopes of so many in the trans community?” Truss said she was against self-ID. Lloyd Russell-Moyle said the World Health Organisation obliged us to remove trans as a medical classification, but Truss still wants doctors involved, claiming “the specific diagnosis is a matter for clinicians.” Would those clinicians be able to diagnose someone as gay, too?

Stephen Doughty, Labour, asked, “Does she understand the hurt to our fellow human beings, who are feeling deep distress and are deeply let down and deeply concerned about the direction in which this Government are going? And will she stop the off-the-record briefings to newspapers, whipping up hatred against the trans and non-binary community?” Truss denied personal responsibility for such briefings, and ignored the point about our distress.

Wera Hobhouse, LD, asked if Truss had met trans organisations, and Truss did not say she had. Cat Smith, Labour, said trans people were among her most vulnerable constituents, and Truss had let us down. Andrew Gwynne, Labour, said anti-trans hate crime had nearly trebled in five years.

Even Truss, while using policy to foment culture war and increase hate, spoke of making the gender recognition process “kinder”. The British people are mostly tolerant, and in favour of trans rights. Our hard-Right government is fomenting hate, with its allies in the trans-excluder movement and the press, but it has a hard job at the moment. Theresa May wanted self-declaration for trans people. It would have been the decent thing to do, and even Truss sees that at some level.

In the House of Lords, Ray Collins said other jurisdictions demedicalised trans recognition- what evidence is there from them that medicalising it is necessary? Transphobe Elizabeth Berridge could not answer. Elizabeth Barker called the government position “callous and cynical”. Michael Cashman called the government position “woefully inadequate…at a time when gross defamation and misrepresentation of trans people, particularly trans women, has been whipped up by the media and some Members of your Lordships’ House.” Again he asked for evidence of any abuse of gender recognition. Berridge had none.

Britain supports trans rights

Two years ago, the government consulted on trans rights, and the people supported us. 102,818 people responded, everyone who cared enough to respond, and an overwhelming majority spoke up for us, even though the haters campaigned hard to get haters to respond. LGB folk spoke up for us- 40,500 responses came through Stonewall. Feminists spoke up for us- 6810 responses came through Level Up, a feminist campaign group against domestic violence. 650 organisations responded, mostly for trans people and trans rights. The survey analysis says that as respondents were self-selecting, it cannot be said to be representative of public opinion, but I say it can: it is those who cared enough to respond, who have a strong opinion on the matter, and they can influence the others. And now, 26 September, 128,000 people have signed a petition for self-declaration. Continue reading

A law to vilify trans people

The British government has decided not to take away the humiliating and bureaucratic hurdles to gender recognition for trans people in England and Wales. Instead it has clung to a system which will be obsolete in two years. On 22 September, Liz Truss, the minister “for” women and equalities, made a formal written statement confirming this.

To get gender recognition, a person will still need: Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions

“The Government believes that transgender adults should be free to live their lives as they wish, with dignity and free from discrimination.” It appears that the Government believes trans people are a useful hate-group, to divert attention from their disastrous mismanagement of Covid, Brexit and the economy. That’s what the Sunday Times article indicates. When the first sentence after “Thank you for your correspondence” bears no relation to the facts indicated by Government statements, I feel queasy unreality and my fear is heightened, not damped down. Some of the answers are slightly reassuring.

“We are currently dealing with an extremely high volume of enquiries about the Gender Recognition Act, the single-sex exemptions under the 2010 Equality Act and about healthcare for transgender people.” Well, that’s what happens when the minister makes a statement indicating she will trample on trans rights- trans people, allies and phobes start writing.

“Changes are intended to make the process of applying for a gender recognition certificate (GRC) less bureaucratic.” The Scottish government proposed granting one on affirming a statutory declaration before a solicitor or JP. That would be considerably less bureaucratic. Not having to provide evidence of using your real name for two years would be a start. Not having to provide medical evidence would be an indication that the government realised no-one does this on a whim, and no-one would do it to attack women. They want to ensure applying is still “a serious and meaningful undertaking”- well, the Scottish proposals achieve that.

Is the Sunday Times correct? They’re not telling. “We intend to publish our response to the consultation before Summer Recess, which begins on 21 July 2020.”

On the Equality Act 2010, they write, “Exceptions in the Act also allow for the exclusion of transgender people from single-sex facilities where this is necessary and proportionate… We are looking into how we might provide greater clarity in this area as part of Government’s response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation.” “Greater clarity” might mean that excluders felt more able to exclude trans women.

This Government is committed to improving services for those undergoing gender reassignment and to challenging transphobia in the NHS. NHS England have funded the development of specialised training through the Royal College of Physicians’ accredited credential on trans health.

There are not enough specialist psychiatrists, so the waiting lists are huge and growing. They say the NHS is working to make trans care more local, and “establishing a more modern and flexible care model”.

What did Truss mean when she said, “I think it’s very important that while people are still developing their decision-making capabilities that we protect them from making those irreversible decisions”? The FAQ is placatory. “We are clear that protecting young people is about ensuring the appropriate processes are in place, rather than withholding support, and we will be exploring what this means with the Department for Health and Social care who lead in this area. We are absolutely committed to making sure all young people have access to appropriate and timely psychological and medical support. The wellbeing of all young people is our priority.” Truss in her statement gave credence to the paranoid myth that young people need “protected” from doctors. She should make a public statement if she does not believe that myth, not rely on this FAQ.

“We know that transgender young people are more likely to experience poor mental health than people who are not transgender. The wellbeing of all young people is our primary concern. We are taking action to improve mental healthcare for LGBT people and we are working with DHSC to develop plans for reducing suicides amongst the LGBT population.” One quick and simple way would be to stop “Government sources” and ministers from making statements indicating a crackdown on trans women in women’s spaces.

“Will the Minister for Women and Equalities speak to both transgender health experts and children’s rights experts before making any decisions around access to healthcare? Yes…” Well, that is the minimum required by administrative law- decisions must be based on adequate knowledge and consideration of relevant facts. That does not mean that Truss will not consult her own prejudices and the benefits to an incompetent right-wing government of establishing out-groups to hate. “Clinicians should continue to provide support to people accessing Gender Identity Clinics [for adults] and the Gender Identity Development Service [for under 18s] in the same way as they have done till now – based on clinical need.” That they have to state doctors will continue to provide treatment indicates how toxic the government’s shit-stirring has been.

The FAQ does not reassure me at all.