Women’s groups, therapists, doctors, academics and transgender activists have come together to slam Government plans to ‘streamline’ the process of changing sex.
The Government will publish its consultation on the Gender Recognition Act this autumn, and is expected to recommend allowing people to change their legal gender simply by declaring it.
But in a meeting in the House of Commons, hosted by Conservative backbench MP David Davies, critics hit out at the proposals to change the definitions of male and female.
Lack of thought
Those involved in the discussion last week voiced their concerns at being unable to debate any transsexual policy without being labelled ‘transphobic’.
An attendee of the meeting, who underwent sex-change surgery almost ten years ago and goes by the name Miranda Yardley, says that he is horrified by the lack of thought ministers appear to have given to the consequences of such a “nonsense” move.
We’re being told that a trans woman is a woman. No debate. It’s almost like a cult.
He added that it would do little to tackle discrimination, and instead would mean women are unable to challenge men seeking access to ‘female-only’ areas.
“It’s taking rights away from women to give to men. It is utterly perverse”, he said.
Yardley accuses trans activists of trying to hijack womanhood, and while he is legally female, he chooses to identify as a transsexual, rather than a woman.
“We’re being told that a trans woman is a woman. No debate. It’s almost like a cult. Obey the rules of the cult, enforce the rules and anyone who disagrees is kicked out.”
Stephanie Davies-Arai of Transgender Trend, highlighted that self-identification means any man can identify as a woman and must be accepted as such “even if they haven’t taken any hormones”.
A contributor at the meeting raised particular concerns about instances of male sex offenders registering as women in a bid to be moved into women’s prisons.
Another transsexual, calling himself Debbie Hayton, said debate and free speech do not constitute discrimination.
“If people have concerns, I’d much prefer them to be shared and aired. We need to debate these issues. That is not being transphobic.”
LGBT lobby group Stonewall claimed self-definition would reduce discrimination, but Hayton disagrees.
“The idea that somehow people will face less discrimination if they can self-declare is fallacious and it needs calling out”, he said.