Half way through 2020 and this is the first thing that I've written here all year.
Surrey Swans is currently in a virtual kind of state.
Life is slowly getting back to more like normal but there's a long way to go yet, and no-one knows what the new normal will really be like.
Recently I received an email from TransActual
It was based on a report that appeared in the Sunday Times on June 14 2020.
So far as I can tell, you can only read the Sunday Times article by subscribing to it.
However, the article is mentioned in The Guardian here:
It mentions that "the government was said to be preparing to set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces including refuges and public lavatories."
Also, ITV News here https://www.itv.com/news/2020-06-13/boris-johnson-drops-plans-to-make-gender-change-easier/ mentions "the Government was said to be preparing to set out new safeguards to protect female-only spaces – including refuges and public lavatories – to stop them being used by those with male anatomy."
In response to the letter I've written to my MP (Member of Parliament), Adam Afriyie:
I received an email today which highlighted some disturbing possibilities concerning possible actions that the Government may be considering with respect to the rights of people that identify as being Transgender.
The email referred to an article published in the Sunday Times on June 14 2020 (https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/boris-johnson-scraps-plan-to-make-gender-change-easier-zs6lqfls0).
The article in the Sunday Times says that it is based on a leaked Government document.
The article is referenced by many other news outlets including the BBC here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53101071, The Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jun/14/trans-rights-government-reported-to-be-dropping-gender-self-identifying-plans?fbclid=IwAR1WpclT0QNmFSMHP3PqGzupVFRImLcpnJMUwTSJpwkY965luDJ_Yfq4SAY and ITV News here: https://www.itv.com/news/2020-06-13/boris-johnson-drops-plans-to-make-gender-change-easier/
The BBC article says “The government has not yet commented on the leak or its accuracy" so I’m hoping that the leak is not accurate.
I understand that there are people that have concerns about making gender transitioning simpler than it currently is.
However, if the leaked document is accurate and there are plans to make the lives of people that identify as Transgender more complicated than they already are then I’m really saddened.
The reports suggest that the Government may take steps “to protect female-only spaces including refuges and public lavatories.“
Again, I understand that people have concerns about these “spaces”.
But making it easier to prevent trans people from accessing public lavatories would actually be a step backwards.
My understanding of current legislation is that organisations already have the right to protect single-sex spaces on a case-by-case basis where appropriate.
I identify as genderfluid.
At times when I present as female, if there are no gender-neutral lavatories available then I use the “ladies”. This has never been a problem for me. No-one has ever complained. The idea of using a “gents” toilet facilities on such occasions is unimaginable.
So, I’m writing to you to ask if you will oppose any changes in legislation that would be likely to make the lives of transgender people more difficult than it already is.
Would you commit to supporting amendments to any new proposed legislation to ensure that this does not happen?
When I receive a reply I'll post it here.