Garden Court Chambers had held an event on the GRA two years previous.
Clarke felt that transgender people have a manifest right to have their identity recognised in law and in public.
In 2002 in the Christine Goodwin case Strasbourg began to reverse this position. Goodwin was apparently
This amounted to state interference in an individual affairs, and also
Clarke said don't believe in the bogeyman, and said that when gay people had been allowed to serve in the army, there was zero effect on its effectiveness, and that the same applies in the situation of changing
Then Clarke spoke about the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, and how it is currently not fit for practice now, as it is too traumatic for trans people to expose themselves to.
1. Panel - Clarke said that people needed to appear before a panel.
(Stephen Whittle hilariously interjected at this point to clarify that applicants *do not* have to appear in front of the panel.)
- two separate confirmations are needed for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria.
- intention to live in target gender until death.
- psychological evaluation
(Again this evidence is paper-based)
Also there is no need to have had treatment nor surgery prior to receiving the certificate, and as Whittle cheerfully corrected Clarke again, one only need to say that one is 'planning' to do so.
There is such thing as an interim certificate, which applies in cases where a spouse has not consented to the gender change. Currently this is grounds of divorce, but the affected individual can gain an interim certficate in these circumstances which can be
Apparently appeals are very rare - which seems to indicate that the current system works favourably towards accepting applications and/or is robust enough.
9. Securing certificate - final process
If no surgery or hormone treatment is required then how can society at large even begin to literally see men as women and women as men? An impossibility.
He discussed the case of the Guardian journalist who had gained full legal recognition as being a man before giving birth to a child. He has his full certificate and everything, but the Registrar General has said it is
Clarke asked 'who controls your identity?' - and I felt that he was slightly invoking a paranoid fantasy of state control, rather than a bureaucracy recording facts.
Next up was Lui Asquith from Mermaids who is a woman who identifies as non-binary. They graduated in family law in 2016 and
Lets think about that a bit. Because adults say that they are trans, it absolutely must be true that trans kids also exist. Obviously no evidence, scientific or otherwise
Asquith main concern was 'empowering and protecting' children and ensuring 'healthy development' of trans kids. At no time did Asquith mention puberty blockers. Not once. This was all about
Perhaps most interestingly Asquith
Asquith realised they had not had a happy childhood because they had grown up in a society in which they were robbed
Though it isn't just legal recognition though, it is also healthcare.
Asquith stated that there are no safeguarding issues intrinsic to a child saying they are trans.
They they mentioned the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the
Asquith spoke again about ensuring the 'survival and development' of the child, but again did not expand on what this meant practically speaking.
Asquith talked about systems in other countries (Norway apparently have a minimum age of 6!)
They admitted that trans people, including kids, have protection
Asquith reminded us again that they had a train to catch but that they welcomed email and discussions
And then the final turn was from Stephen Whittle, who had a very long introduction from the host. Whittle started with a favourite anecdote and that he really wanted to talk about the GRA consultation.
Whittle stated that prior to the 2004 Act the only opposition had been from the evangelical right and that womens' organisations had said nothing.
Whittle stated that men have always been able to enter into womens'
Whittle stated that although 12 thousand women had signed a
Whittle had tried hard to resolve the differences and discuss the
So, what is self-declaration about then?
The current legislation requires a diagnosis, but the current DSM handbook has removed gender dysphoria as a mental illness.
Allowing people to change their legal gender enables
So, Whittle posited, who is behind this small womens' movt?
55,000 people had answered the GRA consultation but only 5,000 were trans people, and most of the others don't even know trans people!
Whittle said that prior to the
Being recognised in law in the target gender allows one to be a full citizen
Whittle overran, as did the others, that out of a session which lasted an hour and a half there was just ten minutes left at the end for the Q&A.
As the Mermaids rep
The moderator basically read the riot act and said that questions had to be constructive and brief and *must* be framed within the context of addressing trans rights since that was the topic of
A woman asked a question about the balance of rights - between those of trans people and the rights of women to safe spaces, and that the removal of prerequisites and safeguards made women vulnerable - the case of Karen White cited.
She also asked how
Whittle agreed that the Karen White case was very unfortunate but that he had only heard of two such cases in which self-id/trans id had been abused. One was by a man who had
Whittle felt it was unfair that feminists focus their attention on TW who present masculinely - since this is the Achilles heel of TW - they do not want to be reminded that
Whittle felt that the Karen White case was not a good example as no safeguarding processes had been followed in that case.
Whittle kept his head down, and did not look up, and was clearly making it known to the audience he was 'under
Whittle said that all trans people experience male violence and that we should be working together so that trans and women can be both be safeguarded.
Whittle by name, Whittle by nature, and boy did he Whittle. Whittle, whittle, whittle.
The conversation had become so toxic that it was now impossible to have a conversation, and it is particularly difficult to have a conversation when women don't bother turning up at scheduled events to discuss the same.
Whittle stated that people who don't have legal recognition of their gender experience much harm.
Whittle added that he preferred to make friends, rather than enemies, and that anyone was welcome to contact him privately on his email.
And that really was the end then.