Currently, people must be diagnosed with gender dysphoria and prove they have been transitioning for two years to obtain a gender recognition certificate.
Michaela Morgan

25 Jul 2017 - 9:46 AM  UPDATED 25 Jul 2017 - 9:46 AM

Transgender and non-binary people in the UK who wish to legally change their birth certificate to match their gender identity currently have to obtain a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and prove that they’ve been in the process of transitioning for two years.

However, the UK government has signalled that that could be about to change, with consultations on the 2004 Gender Recognition Act to be published in the next few months.

Suzanna Hopwood, a member of the Stonewall Trans Advisory Group, told Attitude that she was pleased that the government was reviewing the Act.

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“Reform is one of the key priorities in our vision for removing the huge inequalities that trans people face in the UK. The current system is demeaning and broken,” she said.

“It’s vital that this reform removes the requirements for medical evidence and an intrusive interview panel, and finally allows all trans people to have their gender legally recognised through a simple administrative process.

“That’s what we’ll be calling for during this consultation, and I’m looking forward to seeing the law change soon after.”

The changes would mean that trans people could amend the gender on their birth certificate and non-binary could select ‘X’ instead of ‘M’ or ‘F’.

Stonewall’s Chief Executive—Ruth Hunt—said a lot has changed in 13 years when it comes to recognising transgender rights.

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“The 2004 Act was ground-breaking in giving trans people a way to have their gender legally recognised, but the process is in dire need of reform,” she told Attitude.

“We need a simple process which isn’t medicalised, intrusive or demeaning. We would urge the Government to ensure that all trans communities are consulted and to act quickly on their concerns.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the announcement, tweeting: “@UKLabour will support any law to improve rights of trans people”.

According to the UK’s Tribunals and Gender Recognition Statistics Quarterly, between January and March this year, 112 people applied to change their gender and 88 per cent were granted the certificate.