Transgender people face discrimination at work, casual abuse in the street and long waits for NHS care. None of those problems will be addressed by the government’s plan to change gender reassignment to a matter of simple declaration. It’s hard not to see Justine Greening’s proposal for “self-identification” of gender as a few rainbow sprinkles from a government that is struggling to pass any substantial legislation.
I’m not even sure that some of the politicians involved understand what they are proposing. The way I see it is this: everyone has a biological sex, and for most of us it’s unambiguously male or female. On top of that, we’ve built a whole cultural edifice that we call gender: girls like pink and can’t read maps; boys shouldn’t cry but at least they are good at parallel parking.
Many people find these roles restrictive and are trying to shake up our categories. A smaller group find that they are so unhappy in the role and body decreed at birth that they wish to transition to the other gender. The legal process currently requires a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, and is signed off by a panel after two years living in your “acquired” gender.
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