In Response to Daily Mail

An article was published by the Daily Mail regarding Leeds City Council’s new name and gender change procedure which, as mentioned in the article, TransLeeds helped implement. The tone of the article is as you would expect from the Daily Mail and was inaccurate.

Transgender people have always been able to self-declare their gender with council services. This is nothing new and is true across the country. This new system implemented by Leeds City Council streamlines the process and better protects sensitive information. Previously a trans person would have to change their name and gender with each department individually.

Trans people already had access to changing rooms and toilets guaranteed under the Equality Act 2010. This form is so that people can have their correct name and gender on documents relating to council services such as library cards and council tax bills.

We’re pleased to have worked with Leeds City Council to introduce this form which will make the process of changing name and gender with the Council much easier for trans people in Leeds. TransLeeds will support any organisation seeking to introduce similar policies.

TransLeeds was not the organiser of the protest against Jenni Murray. We stood alongside other trans, queer, feminist and arts organisations to oppose bigotry in our city.

Volunteer Positions Available At TransLeeds

Engagement Officer – Volunteer

The primary role of the engagement officer is to facilitate our regular support groups. They will also have a lead role in providing peer support to the community.

All TransLeeds staff are encouraged to participate in social events when they are able.

Primary duties

  • Facilitating the Main Support Group and the Mid Month Support Group
  • Providing online support, and face to face, where necessary.
  • To plan, deliver and assess the impact of support groups, ensuring that a quality service is provided to all service users.
  • To schedule and help in the delivery of social activities, while developing further concepts with group engagement.
  • Engage in TransLeeds staff meetings


  • The ideal candidate will have experience participating in, or facilitating, similar support groups.
  • You will have excellent communication, listening and social skills.
  • You will have awareness of the diversity of the trans community and working with people from many backgrounds and varying needs.
  • You will have experience dealing with crises and conflict within a group environment.
  • You will have an excellent understanding of :
    ◦ safeguarding
    ◦ professional bounderies
    ◦ Confidentiality
  • An enhanced DBS is required for this position. If you don’t currently have one, we will apply for one for you.

To apply, please send an email detailing how you would be suitable for the role to

Closing date for applications:28th February 2019

Social Media Officer – Volunteer

The Social Media Officer is responsible for all of TransLeeds social media accounts. Presently that is primarily Facebook and Twitter and so experience using these platforms is essential. They will be first point of contact for anyone contacting TransLeeds through social media both publically and through private message.

Primary Duties

  • Keeping TransLeeds social media presence updated with latest news and relevant info.
  • Expanding TransLeeds’ social media presence
  • Promptly responding to messages through social media
  • Liaising with other staff members
  • Attending staff meetings


  • Confidentiality – Sensitive information may be communicated through these channels and so a strong understanding of confidentiality is required.
  • Communication – Our social media accounts receive messages from both service users and organisations and it will be your responsibility to communicate with them and/or forward them to the relevant staff.
  • Facebook and Twitter – These are the two main platforms we currently use and so having experience with them will help. If you have experience running Facebook pages or accounts similar to TransLeeds then that’s even better!
  • Other Social Media Platforms – We would like to expand our reach through social media and so will be looking into setting up social media accounts on other platforms.

To apply, please send an email detailing how you would be suitable for the role to

Closing date for applications:28th February 2019

What’s Wrong With “Woman : Adult Human Female”?

Anti-trans hate groups in the UK have been rallying around the slogan “Woman : Adult Human Female”. It all began in 2018 when the government began its consultation into reforming the Gender Recognition Act. Seems simple, right? It’s just the definition of the word Woman from Google. But it’s being used in a most sinister way.

To understand the intention behind the slogan, we need to talk about the Gender Recognition Act.

What is the Gender Recognition Act?

The Gender Recognition Act was first brought into law in 2004. At the time it was groudbreaking. It’s purpose was to allow trans people to correct the gender on their birth certificates. That is essentially all it was for. In terms of legal protection of trans people, the Equalities Act is far more important.

So it was great at the time, but that was 15 years ago, and society’s understanding of trans identities has come a long way. In hindsight, law makers are beginning to realise that the system that was put in place for trans people to update their birth certificate is convoluted, expensive, ineffective, and not fit for purpose. Countries all over the world have put in place far better systems and the UK has been left in their dust. We were once trailblazers, but now we just want to catch up.

What is being proposed for the new Gender Recognition Act is to allow trans people to update their gender on their birth certificates by something similar to a statutory declaration, which will streamline the process and remove one of the humiliating layers of gate-keeping that’s involved in many people’s transition.

There are other things we would like changed. At the moment there is no legal recognition of non-binary people at all, so we would like that to be included. By the government’s survey of LGBT people last year, over 7000 of the 14,000 trans respondents identify as non-binary. If the new Gender Recognition Act doesn’t include non-binary people, then it is falling very very short of its purpose.

It’s important to note that binary trans people can already update all their other identification, including passports, driver’s license, and even NHS records without the need of the Gender Recognition Act. It is only birth certificates where the GRA applies.

Why Do Anti-Trans Hate Groups Hate The GRA?

Really, they just hate trans women. And only trans women. Trans men and non-binary people are very rarely mentioned by them.

They believe that being a woman is entirely about their reproductive ability. This is a concept known as bioessentialism.  They believe that woman are oppressed due to their genital configuration.

This is a really bizarre concept coming from groups who like to think of themselves as feminists. Reducing what it means to be a woman down to genitalia isn’t feminism; it’s misogyny. Plain and simple. We are so much more than walking wombs.

What brings all women together under feminism is our struggle against misogyny in a patriarchal society. Reproductive rights are a part of that, certainly, but by no means is that the only struggle we have.

Anyway, they don’t want trans women to have any legal recognition or protection at all, let alone what little recognition we have at present. They would rather the Gender Recognition Act be scrapped than for trans women to have even the slightest improvement in their quality of life. Even at the cost of all other trans people.

They make false claims that the reform of the Gender Recognition Act will allow trans women into women only spaces like public toilets and women’s refuges. However, these rights are afforded to trans people by the Equalities Act 2010 which has nothing to do with the GRA. It’s just transphobic fear-mongering similar to the moral panic of the 80s against gay people.

Ok, So What Were You Saying About That Slogan?

“Woman : Adult Human Female”

It seems so innocuous. But think about the intent of it. The message the hate groups are trying to put across is that to be a woman, your sex must be female. There is a distinction between gender and sex. It’s kinda messy, since the idea of “biological sex” isn’t as black and white as many people believe. To put it simply, sex is what you are assigned at birth based on a quick glance between your legs, gender is what you are. Maybe you are a man, and you were correctly assumed to be male at birth. Then you’re a cisgender man. But if you are a woman, and the doctor miscategorized you as male at birth, then you are a transgender woman.

It’s messy. I agree. And that’s one reason why the slogan is so often misconstrued as a positive message. Many people would say trans women are adult human females so this is a message of inclusion.


Their message is very clear, both in their writings and at their demonstrations. They refer to trans women and “male-bodied people” who are “performing femininity”. They believe very strongly that trans women can not be women and to accept them as such puts women, and the concept of womanhood at risk. This is the message behind their slogan.

Going back to the Gender Recognition Act briefly, many countries in the world already have a system in place similar to the one we want for the UK. Ireland, our closest neighbor, has allowed trans people to self declare their gender since 2015 and all the apocalyptic prophecies of the hate groups have failed to materialise. Society has carried on, except trans people can now correct their gender a little bit easier.

So again, remember the intent of their message! Someone could say “Nice glasses!” which sounds like a lovely compliment, but no, those glasses are terrible and you are being cruelly mocked for them.

We’ve Been Nominated In The Owlies LGBT Awards

The shortlist for the Owlies LGBT Awards has been announced and the final round of voting is now open!

TransLeeds has been nominated for best Organisation and best Social Group!

Our coordinator, Natasha Handley, has been nominated for best Organisation Worker!

Trans Pride Leeds has been nominated for best event as well as our favourite queer night Dyke Chambers!

Thank you so much for nominating us. You can show your support by voting before 31st January 2019 and please spread the word! <3

Changing Your Name In The UK

One of the best things about being trans in the UK is that changing your name is a doddle.

All you need to do is print out a sheet of A4 that says your name used to be such-and-such, it is now such-and-such, and you require everyone to use this new name in future. Then you get two friends to sign it and voila! You’ve legally changed your name. No solicitors. No courts. No registration. That is literally all it takes.

This sheet of paper is called a Deed Poll.  A good website for generating your deed poll is .  There are other websites which charge for the pleasure of having your deed poll registered, or some other service, but those really aren’t necessary.

Pro tip: Print multiple copies and get them signed in case one gets lost. Also, some places require your original deed poll rather than a photocopy so it’s handy to have more copies spare.

Where Can I Use My New Deed Poll?

Practically anywhere. A deed poll is all that is needed to update your details with:

  • Banks
  • Energy Companies
  • Phone Contracts
  • Broadband
  • HMRC
  • NHS
  • Driving Licence
  • University/college
  • Council

NHS & Gender Identity Clinic

Changing your name with the NHS is easy, just show them your deed poll, but changing your gender marker is done in an odd way. It is not possible to update your medical records with a new gender, so they have to create a new NHS number for you with your updated gender, and then transfer your details across to the new file. Most GPs should be able to arrange this for you.

Be sure the contact the Gender Identity Clinic AND your GP about the change in name or gender since these two places don’t share information, and if the GIC has out of date info, it could affect the waiting list.

Exam Results

Your exam board can update your old exam results as well. If you went to a gendered school (eg all girls or all boys school), the exam board can even update the school you studied at so your exam certificates don’t out you.  They may need additional ID to do this, but with your deed poll you can get that ID. More information about this can be found at


Passports are a little trickier. It is simple enough to change your name with a deed poll (for a fee), but changing that pesky gender marker is more difficult.

To change the gender marker on your passport, you need a letter from your GP or the GIC stating the following

This is to confirm that my patient previously know as [insert patient’s old name and date of birth], is currently undergoing gender reassignment and as part of the process has changed their name by statutory declaration to [insert patient’s current name] on 2022.

[insert patient’s current name] now lives as [insert patient’s gender] and this change is intended to be permanent.

There is also the usual fee for updating a passport. More information about updating your passport can be found here

Birth Certificates

Birth Certificates are the only thing you need a Gender Recognition Certificate to update.

To acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) you need to have been living “in-role” for at least two years, and have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria. You can then apply through these forms :

There is a charge of £140 and sadly there is no guarantee that you will be successful in your application. It is really hit and miss. However, the government is currently reviewing the Gender Recognition Act which could make it a lot easier for transgender people to update the gender on their birth certificates. This could be some time in 2019, but the government has a lot on their hands at the moment so I doubt they are rushing this.

Having a birth certificate in your gender will also let you update your gender with HMRC. This is important because it will decide your pension age, and if you were to die, your birth certificate could have the wrong gender on it.

Unfortunately, there is still no legal recognition of non-binary people in the UK and so I don’t believe there is anywhere that can change a gender maker to anything other than M or F. This is hopefully going to change with the review of the Gender Recognition Act.

Telling Your GP You’re Trans

This is a guide for trans people going to the GP to tell them you are trans and to initiate any treatment or referrals you will need as a trans person. This information and guidance is based on my experience as a non-binary trans person within the NHS (UK) specifically the North West of England. I believe this advice can be applied and used for any trans person in a GP appointment, but what you want out of the appointment will vary on your personal transition needs.

I have tried to make this guide as accessible as possible, the most important sections are in bold. If you have any suggestions or feedback on how to make this guide more accessible please contact me at

Here is a link from a Leeds based charity called TransLeeds, this link will lead you to a webpage titled ‘Guide for GPs Treating Transgender Patients’. I suggest you print this and take it to your appointment, the more information you can provide your GP with the more they will see you are well informed on the topic and know your rights within the NHS and what treatment you should be given access to. If you do not have access to a printer you can take along the webpage link and ask the doctor to google it and print it themself.

Here is a link for a rating website which shows Trans friendly doctors:

(you can also rate your own GP)

In my experience many doctors are not well educated in trans issues or what treatment the NHS can actually provide transgender patients with. As your doctor it’s their responsibility to educate themself as that GP will be eventually responsible for monitoring their patients transition and administering hormone treatment after assessment by the Gender Services (If that’s a route you want to take). You should stress this responsibility to the doctor.

If a doctor is rude to you or dismissive, although it may seem stressful you can easily switch doctors and you should. You should also file a complaint if you think a GP has treated you badly or inappropriately. You deserve respect and fair treatment, your gender identity is not a hassle and you should not be made to feel that way. These appointments can be so nerve wracking and emotionally exhausting to think about because of expected negative reactions, hence being put off booking the appointment.

Here’s some quick tips for prep:

  • Take a friend(s) or advocate with you to the appointment. If physical and emotional support is needed it’s okay to bring people with you to back you up or even speak for you. Try reaching out to local trans charities if you have nobody you can bring with you to an appointment, even ask in a private Facebook trans group and ask a trans user to come with you in solidarity (obviously be safe when meeting people off the internet).
  • When making the appointment tell the receptionist / doctor it’s for a GIC Referral in advance so they have time to read up on the process and familiarise themselves with the referral forms.
  • If your anxiety is too much to speak you can pre-prepare a letter and read from that or directly give it to the GP to read.
  • Write a list or document in the week leading up to the appointment how your dysphoria affects you (Mentally, Physically, Socially, Sexually, Relationships)

E.g My dysphoria stops me from being able to leave the house, get dressed, look in a mirror which then affects my mental health, I become extremely anxious and depressed, isolated which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Everyone’s mental health intersects in different personal ways, this is just an example but it is important you can vocalise how your gender dysphoria effects you in these areas so your GP can note down how it affects you on file so this information can be shared with the GIC and reflected upon when thinking about desired routes to help you.

  • Say you have been living in your ‘acquired gender’ for as long as possible including pronouns, the longer the better. They don’t check to my knowledge or require evidence. This shows them you are ‘serious’ about your gender which is a bullshit standard to have to submit to and extremely gatekeeping which is a sad reality of the current medical view of trans patients identities. If factors like safety and not being out to family, jobwise or socially play into you being unable to be openly living in your gender identity that’s fine, tell the doctor this. You are not less trans because you are not socially out.
  • You can change your name on the GP Practices System. Ask for your name to be changed from your deadname. You can also choose the title (MR/MS/MX). This is doable without a legal name change via deed poll I did it very easily. This should make going to appointments less stressful as the staff won’t deadname and misgender you.
  • Listen to your favorite music and get pumped before the appointment, you are transgender and it’s okay, your identity is valid and you deserve to be respected by a GP and to start your journey whatever that entails.



I [insert name here] am transgender, I use [pronouns] and want to be referred to [insert preferred GIC if you have one] Gender Identity Clinic.

My gender dysphoria effects me in these ways:

[list effects on your mental health / physical health / relationships and social interactions]

Discuss your aims and needs and how you want to progress through the NHS as a transgender person.

Remember to ask for your name and title to be changed on the GP system. You do not legally have to have changed your name to have it changed on the system.

The doctor should request for your bloods to be tested if you are requesting hormones (for the GIC) a bridging prescription or are already illegally on hormones.

A doctor should not judge you or your gender identity based on how you present physically, you are not less legitimately trans if you are for example a trans man and present femme do not let these regressive views deter you from getting the help and access to services you need. Doctors should also be aware that non-binary is included and recognised by the GIC.

What to ask for :

If you are wanting to medically transition you need to be referred to the GIC (Gender Identity Clinic). Medically transitioning can include having hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgeries.

  • You don’t need to know what dosages you want or if you want hormones yet.
  • You don’t need to have decided if you want surgery yet.
  • You do need to be referred to the GIC so you can talk to someone and have information about what is available through the NHS for transgender people.
  • You can ask for a ‘Bridging Prescription’ for hormone treatment.
  • You can ask for your name to be changed on the GP System and for your pronouns to be used and recorded on file.

Legally a doctor can prescribe a ‘Bridging Prescription’ which bridges the gap/wait time a patient faces before they are seen by the GIC to begin treatment for gender dysphoria. Many doctors are uncomfortable with prescribing bridging prescriptions as often they are not educated or knowledgable about prescribing hormones which puts doctors out of their comfort zone. If a doctor rejects you from getting a Bridging Prescription they legally have to refer you to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists wait times are much shorter than the GIC wait times, in the North West currently (oct 2018) the wait times are 3-6 months. A standard UK GIC wait time is 18-24 months (oct 2018) from receiving the referral. You can get updated info on GIC wait times on the Gender Identity Clinic webpage under ‘appointments’ or via this link

Sometimes Reddit or Yahoo or social media will have updated GIC wait times from people on the waitlist but it is best to ask your doctor or use the official website for a estimate on wait times.

The endocrinologist can prescribe you hormones if they see it suitable to. Usually people have anything from 1 to a few appointments with the endocrinologist before receiving hormones. Please note the endocrinologist does not have to legally give you hormones.


You can get and self medicate with hormones illegally but you must tell your doctor and by law they are required to monitor your blood levels. Do tell your doctor as it’s extremely dangerous to self medicate with hormones without having your blood levels regularly checked. The doctor cannot report you to the police for you self medicating illegally as it would breach patient-doctor confidentiality.


Royal College of Psychiatrists state: “Patients may opt to self-medicate with hormones and/or anti-androgens so it is useful to ask them directly about this as it can adversely impact on their health and wellbeing. They may ask you to monitor them for side effects including checking blood tests and this is something that should be negotiated between you and the patient. Under the Royal College of Psychiatrists guidelines patients presenting on illicit hormones can be issued a bridging prescription by their GP while they await assessment at a Gender Identity Service. Advice can always be sought from the Gender Service or Endocrinology”.

– Good practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria [Royal College of Psychiatrists]. Source: TransLeeds ‘Guide for GPs Treating Transgender Patients’

The medical practitioner or specialist must consider the risks of harm to the patient by not prescribing hormones in these circumstances. The WPATH standards of care (World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 2011) suggest the prescribing of a ‘bridging’ prescription on an interim basis for a few months while the patient is referred to a gender specialist and an endocrinologist.

A GP or other medical practitioner involved in the patient’s care may prescribe ‘bridging’ endocrine treatments as part of a holding and harm reduction strategy while the patient awaits specialised endocrinology or other gender identity treatment and/or confirmation of hormone prescription elsewhere or from patient records. Patients may face a long wait before their first appointment with a gender specialist. This can be very distressing and their mental health may suffer as a consequence. The risk of self-harm and suicide for trans people is much greater than in the general population, and delay in accessing medical care substantially increases these risks. If your patient is distressed, or you believe them to be at risk from self-harm, you should offer them support and consider the need for referral to local mental health services.

Some trans people – after many years of suppression, and facing continued deterioration in their mental health while waiting for a specialist appointment – become desperate for medical intervention and may turn to self-medication with products bought on-line from an unregulated source, without prior medical assessment or supervision. -From the UK Good Practice Guidelines For The Assessment And Treatment Of Adults With Gender Dysphoria (RCPsych Report CR181, October 2013).

These guidelines were developed by a multidisciplinary panel, including patient representatives. They are endorsed by: British Association of Urological Surgeons, British Psychological Society, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons.


How to initiate Hormone Therapy

Good practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria –[ Appendix 4 – Royal College of Psychiatrists]


Monitoring tests

Patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, take regular exercise, have a sensible diet and consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.


Blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, serum free thyroxine T4, thyroid- stimulating hormone, testosterone, oestradiol (less than 100 pmol/l) and prolactin (50–400 mU/l).


On a 6-monthly basis for 3 years and then yearly depending on clinical assessment and results. Provision of prescription is contingent on patients understanding the risks and benefits that may result due to the need to take the following tests: blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function test, fasting glucose, lipid profile, testosterone, serum oestradiol 24 h after a tablet or 48 h after a patch (levels should be in the upper half of the normal follicular range, 300–400 pmol/l) and prolactin (less than 400 mU/l).


In the first instance, a specialist clinician will provide the prescription or, if the GP is in agreement with collaborative care prescribing and the patient attends a gender specialist service, this will be supervised by the gender specialist who has obtained valid consent. Typical prescriptions would be for:

oestradiol (1–6 mg orally daily)


oestradiol gel (two to four measures daily) or patches (50–150 mcg, two to three times per week), particularly for patients over 40 years (lower risk of thrombosis). Dosage of oestrogen depends on the results of monitored circulating oestradiol levels (see p. 34);

goserelin 3.6 mg implant subcutaneously once every 4 weeks or 10.8 mg implant once every 12 weeks, or an alternative gonadotrophin- releasing hormone agonist – inhibits secretion of pituitary gonadotrophin and testosterone secretion.

Additional therapies, which may be helpful, include:

cyproterone acetate (50–100 mg orally daily) – it is much less satisfactory than goserelin;

Dianette (1 tablet daily for 21 days; repeat after 7 gap days), which contains cypoterone acetate and an oestrogen;

spironolactone (100–400mg orally daily) may be required for additional androgen receptor blockade – long-term use associated with liver dysfunction and possibly hepatoma risk (animal data);

progesterone is not usually indicated since no biologically significant progesterone receptor sites exist for biological males.

Medroxyprogesterone acetate (100mg orally twice daily) or dydrogesterone (10mg orally twice daily) has been used;

finasteride (5 mg orally daily) – blocks conversion of testosterone (which may derive from adrenal androgens in the absence of secreting testes) to the more active dihydrotestosterone. It can discourage male pattern hair loss and testosterone-dependent body hair growth.


Monitoring Tests

Patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, take regular exercise, have a sensible diet and consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.


Blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests fasting glucose, lipid profile, serum free thyroxine T4, thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin (less than 400mU/l) and serum oestradiol and testosterone.


On a 6-monthly basis for 3 years and then yearly if well, depending on clinical assessment and results. Provision of prescription is contingent on patients understanding the risks and benefits that may result due to the need to take the following tests: blood pressure, full blood count (haemoglobin and haematocrit), urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, fasting glucose, lipid profile, serum oestradiol (for adequacy of suppression less than 70pmol/l) and prolactin (less than 400mU/l).

Serum testosterone should be at or below lower end of normal range (<10nmol/L) just before next dose is due to avoid accumulation or inadequate dosage. If on oral testosterone, measure dyhydrotestosterone levels 3–4h after a dose.


Goserelin 3.6mg implant subcutaneously once every 4 weeks or 10.8mg pellet subcutaneously once every 12 weeks.

Testosterone enantate or Sustanon (mixed testosterone ester) 250–500mg intramuscularly every two to six weeks depending on serum testosterone levels (see above).


Testogel (50mg/5g gel once daily – occasionally two doses are required), rubbed into the shoulders or loins after shower or bath.


Testosterone undecanoate 120–160mg/day orally or 1g intramuscularly every 3 months.


**This Royal College of Psychiatrists guide does not include non-binary / gender fluid / agender people and is very binary when referring to trans identities and I apologise for that. If you identify yourself as one of the above not mentioned identities you can align yourself with whatever treatment option fits you above.


Once you have stated to your doctor you are transgender and want to start medically transitioning your doctor should refer you to a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) there are currently eight GIC’s in the UK (oct 2018). Most likely your GP will refer you to your closest GIC. You can request a specific GIC, most people will request the GIC with the current shortest wait time. Beware the GIC wait times can fluctuate and you need to take into account travel costs when selecting a GIC.

  1. Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, London
  2. Leeds Gender Identity Clinic, Leeds
  3. Northampton Gender Identity Clinic, Daventry
  4. Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service, Newcastle
  5. Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham
  6. Porterbrook Clinic Gender Identity Service, Sheffield
  7. The Laurels Gender Identity Clinic, Exeter
  8. The Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation

Here is a link to the locations and addresses of the current UK GIC’s:

I will update this PDF as I continue on my journey as a trans person through the NHS. I am currently awaiting my first endocrinologist appointment and I’m on the waiting list for Sheffield GIC. I hope this guide has been informative and helpful.

Sending solidarity and love to all of my trans siblings.

Written by Eli Flint 16/10/18


The Leeds Binder Library Is Back!

Hello everyone!

We are so so excited to say that gc2b have sent us 34 binders!! We want to say a massive thank you to gc2b and announce that our binder library now holds binders in every size so if anyone needs one to swap or simply to have do let us know.

Again a massive thank you to gc2b!

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act : Response and Guidance

Olivia Thomas, Outreach Officer, TransLeeds

Link to the consultation website:

Various organisations have offered guidance on filling out the consultation. I mainly used the Stonewall and NUS guides.

Link to Stonewall Guidance:

Link to NUS Guidance:

Section 1 – Your Details

This should be self explanatory. Fill in some brief details about yourself or the organisation you represent. You have to provide an email address to fill in the consultation.


Questions 1 and 2 – Experiences of Trans Respondents

Question 1: If you are a trans person, have you previously applied, or are you currently applying, for a Gender Recognition Certificate?


If yes, please tell us about your experience of the process. If no, please tell us why you have not applied?:

The current process for applying for a GRC is demeaning, expensive and fails to recognise non-binary people or children. I refuse to submit my gender for adjudication by an anonymous panel. I refuse to submit to a process that doesn’t recognise my non-binary siblings. I refuse to submit to a process that requires psychiatric medical reports in order for my gender to be recognised.

Question 2: If you are a trans person, please tell us what having Gender Recognition Certificate means, or would mean, to you.

Having a gender recognition certificate would mean that my gender is legally recognised. It would alter my day to day life very little as all of my documents – passport, driving licence – accurately state my gender. However it would allow my gender to be updated on my birth certificate and allow my gender to be accurately recognised should I marry in the future.

Questions 3 and 4 – Medical Reports

Question 3: Do you think there should be a requirement in the future for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria?


Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

Not all trans people have gender dysphoria, seek treatment for it or are able to get a diagnosis from a recognised clinician. Requiring a diagnosis prevents these people from having their gender legally recognised.

Question 4: Do you also think there should be a requirement for a report detailing treatment received?


Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

The medical reports are often difficult or expensive to acquire. For people who have transitioned long ago, transitioned whilst living abroad, or who transitioned without seeking NHS treatment the medical reports may be impossible to attain. Requiring medical reports prevents these people accessing a GRC. Some trans people may not be able to have certain medical treatments due to other health conditions. Some may opt not to undergo certain treatments. There should be no discrimination for people who do not receive medical treatments. The detail of any treatment received should be irrelevant for recognising a person’s gender.

Question 5 – Evidence

Question 5: (A) Do you agree that an applicant should have to provide evidence that they have lived in their acquired gender for a period of time before applying?


Please explain the reasons for your answer. :

It may not be possible for trans people to provide evidence of having lived as our acquired gender. Due to discrimination at home or at work some people may not have been able to live in their acquired gender before applying. There is no set criteria for what living as your acquired gender means – especially for non-binary people – so how can it be judged. There is no way to prove a persons gender by how they live. Requiring this would introduce an unnecessary level of gatekeeping into the system.

Documentation such as utility bills or payslips may be hard to obtain from people living in shared accommodation, from young people or those who are out of work. Requiring documentation excludes people from applying especially those people who suffer from financial hardship or live in insecure housing.

(B) If you answered yes to (A), do you think the current evidential options are appropriate, or could they be amended?:

Not Answered

(D) If you answered no to (A), should there be a period of reflection between making the application and being awarded a Gender Recognition Certificate?:

No there should be no period of reflection. Trans people have typically spent much time thinking about coming out and considering the ramifications of doing this. There is no need to subject us to a further delay in the process. There is no delay for reflection when trans people change our gender on passports or driving licences, why should there be one for changing the gender on our birth certificate?

Question 6 – Statutory Declaration

Question 6: (A) Do you think this requirement should be retained, regardless of what other changes are made to the gender recognition system?


Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

Statutory declarations carry criminal penalties for fraudulent use. This could hypotetically be used to maliciously prosecute trans people for not “living as their acquired gender.” Even if such prosecutions were very unlikely to happen the implicit threat of criminal prosecution might put trans people off applying. Having a statutory declaration may also limit people from applying for multiple GRCs for example if they originally apply as a binary trans person and later want to apply again as non-binary.

The criminal penalties of statutory declarations are unlikely to put off fraudulent applications but are likely to put off genuine trans applicants.

(C) If you answered no to (A), do you think there should be any other type of safeguard to show seriousness of intent?:

No. Why is there a need for safeguards simply to change the legal gender on a birth certificate? People who are intending to commit crimes by fraudulently changing their gender would not be put off by signing a statutory declaration and in many cases would not need to. Therefore providing additional safeguards offers no protection against fraudulent applications and merely serves to put in place additional barriers to trans people. A simple statement of intent, similar to a deed poll name change should be sufficient.

Question 7 – Spousal Consent

Question 7: The Government is keen to understand more about the spousal consent provisions for married persons in the Gender Recognition Act. Do you agree with the current provisions?


Please explain the reasons for your answer. If you think the provisions should change, how do you think they should be altered?:

Requiring spousal consent gives a spouse control over their partner. If a spouse is unhappy with a partner changing their legal gender then they should file for divorce. They should not have the power to prevent a trans person from having their gender legally recognised.

The spousal veto should be removed completely as anything which allows other people to interfere in a trans person having their gender recognised is discrimination.

Question 8 – The Cost of Legal Gender Recognition

Question 8: (A) Do you think the fee should be removed from the process of applying for legal gender recognition?


(C) What other financial costs do trans individuals face when applying for a gender recognition certificate and what is the impact of these costs?:

There are costs associated with accessing medical reports which are not provided for free by the NHS gender identity clinics. There are costs for solicitors in order to sign the statutory declaration. There are costs associated with collecting the evidence to prove that you have lived in your acquired gender. In total these can add up to several hundred pounds which many trans people are unable to afford.

Question 9 – Privacy and Disclosure of Information (Section 22)

Question 9: Do you think the privacy and disclosure of information provisions in section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act are adequate?


If no, how do you think it should be changed? :

Whilst no change in the wording of section 22 is needed there needs to be much more emphasis on upholding the provisions in section 22. Far too many trans people are asked by employers to show their GRC and there have been few prosecutions for breaching section 22. Understanding and enforcement of section 22 provisions needs to be undertaken.

Questions 10 and 11 Impact of Legal Gender Recognition Process (Protected Characteristics)

Question 10: If you are someone who either has, or would want to undergo legal gender transition, and you have one or more of the protected characteristics, which protected characteristics apply to you? You may tick more than one box.

Tick any protected characteristics you have here. Everyone has the characteristic of “age”. It is important to tick this for the answer below.

Please give us more information about how your protected characteristic has affected your views on the GRC application process.:

Currently the GRC application process is not available to under 18s. If I was under 18 today then I would want to change my legal gender. The GRC process should be made available to under 18s.

Question 11: Is there anything you want to tell us about how the current process of applying for a GRC affects those who have a protected characteristic?

Enter your answer below.:

Under 18s are not able to have their gender legally recognised under the current system. 16 and 17 year olds should be able to have their gender recognised under the same process as adults. Under 16s should be able to have their gender recognised with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Disabled people may have problems with the overly bureaucratic process or with accessing medical treatment or evidence. These requirements should be removed to enable disabled people to more easily have their gender legally recognised.

Introduction to Wider Considerations of Impact (Equality Act)

This series of questions appear to have been inserted into the consultation to appease transphobic groups concerned about trans women accessing women’s spaces. Our right to access such spaces is guaranteed under the Equality Act and is not dependent on having a gender recognition certificate. There are no proposed changes to the Equality Act as part of the proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Question 12 – Impact on Sport (Equality Act)

Question 12: Do you think that the participation of trans people in sport, as governed by the Equality Act 2010, will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 13 – Impact on Single-sex and Separate-sex Service (Equality Act)

Question 13: (A) Do you think that the operation of the single-sex and separate-sex service exceptions in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

(B) If you provide a single or separate sex service, do you feel confident in interpreting the Equality Act 2010 with regard to these exemptions?

Answer this question if you are respnding on behalf of an organisation that provides single or separate sex services.

(C) If you are a trans person who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual assault, were you able to access support?

If you are a trans person please give details here of any difficulties accessing support.

Question 14 – Impact on Occupational Requirements (Equality Act)

Question 14: Do you think that the operation of the occupational requirement exception in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 15 – Impact on Communal Accomodation (Equality Act)

Question 15: Do you think that the operation of the communal accommodation exception in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 16 – Impact on the Armed Forces (Equality Act)

Question 16: Do you think that the operation of the armed forces exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 17 – Impact on Authorising or Solemnising Marriages (Equality Act)

Question 17: Do you think that the operation of the marriage exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 18 – Impact on Insurance Operation (Equality Act)

Question 18: Do you think that the operation of the insurance exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?


Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 19 – Impact on Other Public Services (beyond the Equality Act)

Question 19: Do you think that changes to the Gender Recognition Act will impact on areas of law and public services other than the Equality Act 2010?


Please give reasons for your answer. :

Legally recognising non-binary people would require changes to other areas of law. Such changes should be made with respect to achieving equality for non-binary and binary trans people alike.

Question 20 – Non-binary Gender Identities

Question 20: Do you think that there need to be changes to the Gender Recognition Act to accommodate individuals who identify as non-binary?


If you would like to, please expand more upon your answer.:

Many people already identify as non-binary and increasing numbers are coming out as non-binary. Non-binary genders should be accepted under the law on an equal basis as men and women. It is therefore important that the GRA provides an option for legal recognition for non-binary people.

Question 21: Experiences of Intersex Respondents

Question 21: (A) Do you have a variation in your sex characteristics?


(C) What other changes do you think are necessary to the GRA in order to benefit intersex people? :

Intersex people should be able to access a GRC on the same terms as trans people, without the need for medical reports or restrictive evidential requirements

Question 22 – Any further comments?

Question 22: Do you have any further comments about the Gender Recognition Act 2004?


If you answered yes, please add your comments.:

Reform of the GRA must recognise non-binary people. It must recognise under 18s. It must remove medical and other evidential requirements. To not do so would make any reform unfit for purpose.

Consent for publishing your response

Can we publish your response?

Publish my response in anonymised form only

TransLeeds Rating System

The TransLeeds Rating System is used to objectively assess how trans inclusive a venue or organisation is and identifies areas that can be improved.

Gender Neutral Facilities

Gender neutral facilities, such as toilets, are important to many in the community.  For non binary people especially this is an important issue, but even for binary trans people, gender neutral facilities remove the fear of being accused of using “the wrong one”.  It is also beneficial to families.

Also, if your organisation records gender or titles, are they inclusive of non binary people? (eg Mx title and gender options besides male and female)

 The venue has gendered facilities and does not have gender neutral titles (eg Mx) or supports more than two genders
 The venue has gender neutral facilities available or supports gender neutral titles and more than two genders
 The venue has gender neutral facilities throughout and supports gender neutral titles and more than two genders

Trans Inclusion Policy

Although it is great when trans people are mentioned in an organisation’s equality policies, it is so much better to have a dedicated inclusion policy for trans people.  A dedicated trans inclusion policy can go into detail about the process of updating personal information, support for trans employees, safeguarding, confidentiality, and medical leave.  Having a trans inclusion policy let’s your staff and customers know that you are a trans inclusive organisation.

 No trans inclusion policy
 Partial trans inclusion policy (may be within other policies)
 Dedicated trans inclusion policy

Equality & Diversity Monitoring

43% of employers in the UK are unsure if they would hire a transgender person.  33% think they are less likely to hire a transgender person. Only 8% believe trans people should have equal rights in employment. ( ).

It is vital that employers keep records of the number of trans people applying for jobs, and how many are hired.

 Does not record transgender people in equality and diversity data
 Records transgender equality and diversity data

Trans Awareness Training

Are your workers aware of transgender issues and know how to be respectful? It is surprising how often people don’t know the difference between a trans man and a trans woman, or might know nothing at all about non binary people. Only 8% of employers in the UK say trans people should have equal rights in employment, despite this being included in the Equalities Act since 2010.

At this point in time trans awareness training is essential so that trans people can be confident that they will be welcomed, respected and supported by your organisation.

TransLeeds runs a monthly Trans Awareness Workshop in Leeds that is open to every one. We can also provide in house training tailored to your organisation’s needs.

 Does not have trans awareness training.
 Has trans awareness training included in other training material, or training is available but not facilitated by a specialist group, or a proportion of staff have trans awareness training.
 Trans awareness training is provided to all staff by a specialist group or organisation.

Friend of the Community

Organisation that have gone above and beyond in supporting the trans community in Leeds. They may be consistently outspoken in support of trans people, organise events for the trans community, or support the work of transgender charities.

 No data or rating
 Friend of the Community
 Hero of the Community