Steph's Place

A Manifesto for Trans Rights in the UK

With thanks to Claire Exists for this contribution

THE TRANSGENDER MANIFESTO - WITH THANKS TO CLAIRE FOR WRITING & SHARING:

(Note these views are the authors and may not be those of others).

 

A Manifesto for Trans Rights in the UK

 

Preface

I’m going to be the first to admit that compiling this document is the result of random thoughts & issues on trans rights generated by an incandescent rage that's been building over the course of 2020.

It’s my view of what needs to change and why partly written as catharsis in an attempt to convince myself that we can make things better. It's not exhaustive. But as far as I’m concerned, this is the bare minimum, and I may add to it as I go..

Some of these changes will benefit minority groups as a whole, but my focus here is solely on addressing transgender issues in order to make UK society safe for trans & non-binary people. 

As such, this comes from a viewpoint that inclusion of trans people in society is the only acceptable standard in all cases, and establishing and protecting that inclusion is paramount.

 Why?

History has repeatedly shown us that cisgender people simply cannot be trusted to do what is best for us, and refuse to listen to us.

Therefore limits must be placed on how cisgender people, and cisgender people who are trans hostile, in particular, can affect and influence trans lives and rights.

With that said, what changes do we need to make, as a society, in order to make things safe for trans people?

To Reiterate:

These are my views only, & subject to change. This does not reflect the views of all trans people as a group.

Claire.

 

Sections

Health Care

Mental Health

Legal Recognition

Politics & Political Parties

Media & Press

Social Media

Equality Act

Hate Crime

Political Issue Lobby Groups

 

Health Care

Trans healthcare in the UK is unfit for purpose. It relies on outdated science and methodology, is based on the view that being trans is wrong / broken and in need of fixing, and designed in order to prevent as many trans people from accessing services as possible in a misguided attempt to stop a single cisgender person from “making a mistake” by transitioning.

GIC services are run as individual fiefdoms within the NHS with little consistency between them.

Services need to be rebuilt from the ground up, and trans-led/accountable.

  • All gender services overseen by boards comprised solely of transgender people, with power to amend/overturn/challenge service decisions & processes. This can be introduced as a starting point / interim measure.
  • Institute, an informed consent / affirmative model in line with patient-led, international best practice (WPATH, WHO, ICD11)
  • Decouple non-surgical healthcare (HRT, puberty blockers, hair removal, blood work monitoring etc.) into local domain to be provided by GP services
  • Decouple mental health services & increase provision (see Mental Health)
  • Retask GICs to coordinate surgical options only.
  • Standardised training programme on general trans healthcare for all areas of the NHS (GPs, Doctors, Nurses and NHS Staff)
  • Programme to train required staff to provide necessary surgery scaled to address current and future needs.
  • GPs that refuse to treat trans patients to be struck off.
  • NHS systems updated across the board, with systems designed to be decoupled from the assumed gender binary and reflective of individualised healthcare needs instead.

Mental Health

Transgender people in the UK are still treated by the NHS as if we have a mental illness. Outside of Gender Dysphoria, all issues that affect trans people’s mental health are caused and amplified by cisgender people via social stigma, intolerance, misinformation and hate, resulting in deep trauma.

Gender Incongruence often also goes hand in hand with other issues such as ADHD / Autism, which are not causes of Gender Incongruence but are used to excuse/deny treatment and the existence of transgender identities. 

  • Standardised training programme for mental health practitioners on general trans healthcare under the above model described in Healthcare.
  • Affirmative model in line with international best practice (WPATH, WHO, ICD11)
  • Specialised trauma focussed care to deal with issues caused by lifelong social stigma & hate.
  • A complete ban on conversion therapy for sexual orientation and gender identity
  • A complete ban on religious organisations providing “talking therapy” of any kind
  • All types of MH practitioner condensed under a single professional body with an enforceable, punitive code of conduct that centres the patient.
  • All MH practitioners to declare religious affiliation or beliefs that may affect patient care, so that patients can make an informed choice.
  • Rapid exploration & diagnosis of other potentially co-morbid factors such as ADHD / Autism / Anxiety in order to better deal with trauma, on a separate, unrelated pathway. These factors do not cause someone to be Gender Incongruent, but make living with Gender Dysphoria much more difficult, and can be explored and dealt with synchronously with Gender Dysphoria.

Legal Recognition

Legal recognition for trans people in the UK is a complete mess.

  • Update GRA to a statutory declaration only, removing all requirements for medical reports &  diagnoses, as well as removing spousal veto and costs.
  • Update legal gender status to include X on passports & all associated Government records
  • Destroy register of trans people that hold a GRC.
  • Extend statutory declaration to young people from age 16 as individuals, and age 10 with parental consent.
  • Single, joined-up process across government to change name & gender on all records.
  • Update birth certificate to remove references to “mother” and “father”, and replace with “parent 1 / 2”

Politics & Political Parties

There are not enough oversight or checks and balances on the UK political establishment, both in general terms and in regards to equality issues. 

  • No political parties should be allowed to form, or continue to operate, based on including any form of hate or discrimination.
  • All political parties must adopt the same, standardised definition of transphobia, as defined by trans-led organisations.
  • All political parties must have a transparent, robust process for dealing with transphobia from MPs, Lords and members, up to and including expulsion.
  • All potential and existing MPs must be vetted with regards to stances on equality & universal human rights, and any MP found working towards removing rights removed from power.
  • Codes of conduct for MPs, Ministers, Lords to be updated to include firm commitments to equality for all and universal human rights, and those breaching the rules removed from power. 
  • Anyone that has attended lifelong private schooling is ineligible to stand as a political representative at any level.
  • MPs must not have second jobs/consultancies / outside business interests. You work for the public, not business or corporate interests, or yourselves.
  • Ban on all corporate and business lobbying.
  • Ban on MPs employing spouses/partners/family members/friends
  • MPs removed from all procurement sourcing decisions/recommendations.
  • Ban on MPs allocating/influencing how local funding for programmes is actioned.
  • MP register of interests to include religious & influential family affiliations (i.e. comes from a wealthy background, child of a corporate head etc.)
  • MP expenses published on a real-time, central register accessible online by the public
  • Political appointments to head public bodies must cease to exist to remove political interference in minority lives.
  • Public bodies should be headed by people chosen by the public & adhering to the same vetting/checks/balances as above.
  • Institute a proportional representation system to replace “first past the post.”

Media & Press

Quite simply, the UK media and press, in particular, are out of control and incapable of self-regulation. IPSO / OFCOM are toothless and not fit for purpose.

  • Replace various regulatory bodies for media with a single entity & associated, legally enforceable code of conduct that centres and encourages factual, unbiased reporting & commentary, and makes media liable for creating an environment of hate for both individuals and minority groups.
  • All media outlets must be licenced to trade, under the condition of adherence to code of conduct.
  • Code of conduct must include provision for dealing with inciting hatred of minorities in general through false reporting and misrepresentation, as well as targeting of individuals, with associated penalties up to and including revocation of licence and heavy fines.
  • All media must have a clear, transparent complaints process, and all complaints & resolutions must be publicised.
  • Where false reporting is found, retractions & apologies must be made on the front page and take up the same amount of space as the original reporting.
  • Individuals and groups to be given an automatic right of reply, to be published in line with the original report.

Social Media

Hatred of minorities on social media is completely out of control. It is clear these bodies are completely incapable of self-regulation.

  • New regulatory body & code of conduct similar to traditional media to oversee social media companies such as Twitter, Facebook etc.
  • Social media must have robust, but more importantly, enforced rules for dealing with hate, spreading fake news and bullying.
  • Social media should allow users to mask/anonymise information; however, all user accounts operating in the UK should be registered with a proven UK address & person, and that info held for legal purposes in the event of criminal action/hate crime.
  • Ban on sale/exchange of user data to outside organisations
  • Ban on “cooperation” with outside organisations to gather/manipulate user information

Equality Act

  • The Equality Act 2010 must be updated to include gender identity as a protected characteristic.
  • A government body should be formed to report on, oversee and deal with breaches of the Equality Act.
  • Breaches of the Equality Act must be simple to raise and address without a person resorting to legal action. 

Hate Crime

Hate crime laws must be strengthened to include dealing with hate from organisations & campaign groups, with the founding or controlling members of such groups liable for criminal breaches.

 

  • Hate crime laws strengthened to include false reporting, incitement to hate and misrepresentation in media & press.
  • Where hate is a motivating factor in crime that has been committed, any penalty should be automatically tripled, at a minimum.
  • Where an organization is involved, the entire board or leadership will be liable for prosecution..

Political Issue Campaign Groups

Yes, this is intended to directly target the formation of hate groups.

  • All political campaign groups must be registered in the UK & overseen by a central body with an enforceable code of conduct which centres human rights for all.
  • Media & Social Media organisations may only deal with registered groups.
  • Registered groups must publish all details of funding on a monthly basis, accessible by the public. Individual funding/donations may be anonymised for display.
  • No group shall be allowed funding from anonymous sources.
  • No group shall be allowed funding from foreign sources.
  • Funding from supporters capped to £500 per annum per supporter, regardless of whether individual or organisation.

 

 Claire can be found on Twitter @ClaireExists  and you can follow me @PlaceSteph

 Updated 18/1/21

 


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