Transsexual people have spoken out against Government plans to make it easier to ‘change sex’.
In a letter to The Guardian, seventeen transsexuals who have undergone full sex reassignment surgery said they were “deeply concerned” about removing safeguards from the Gender Recognition Act.
The Government says it wants to allow people to legally change sex by ‘self-declaration’.
This would strip away current requirements: to have lived as a member of the opposite sex for a minimum of two years and have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
The letter’s signatories said that replacing the current process for changing sex with an “over-the-counter style self-declaration” blurs the distinction between those who have had surgery, and those who have no intention of doing so.
They said it was problematic when male-bodied people “demand the rights afforded to women as a protected sex, including access to their private spaces”.
It continued: “We fear that these proposals will not only put women’s rights at risk but also damage our credibility in society.”
They called on politicians to “show courage and facilitate dialogue valuing all affected groups”, adding that they “absolutely condemn all attempts to suppress this debate”.
However, some activists have hit out at Channel 4 for allowing one of its programmes to debate transsexualism at all.
The controversial Genderquake series features eleven young people, of whom only two are heterosexual and identify as their birth sex.
In an open letter, trans activists objected, accusing the broadcaster of “complicitly offering anti-trans bigotry an ever-larger media platform”.
LGBT campaigner Dr Adrian Harrop added: “It’s an absurd debate, it’s absurd and outdated and antiquated conversation that I am not prepared to shed any legitimacy on.”
Channel 4 said that it is “committed to providing space for debate and discussion about the big issues that are affecting society”.