Every cloud has a silver lining. The ongoing delays to gender recognition reform in the UK enable us to analyse other countries’ experiences and judge whether the lurid claims of anti-trans activists have any basis in reality.
Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of Ireland’s Gender Recognition Act. It uses the same “self-ID” system that the Westminster and Scots governments propose to use: instead of requiring trans people to get medical reports and a stack of evidence to be judged by a panel they never meet, applicants sign a statutory declaration in front of a lawyer. This declaration states that you intend to live in your correct gender for the rest of your life, and like any statutory declaration there are penalties for fraudulent declarations.
The number of men who have abused this system in order to access women’s spaces in the last five years?
The number of frivolous or fraudulent applications?
The same is true of the many other countries that have some form of self-ID.
I’m sure that tomorrow, the UK press and radio will give this information the same prominence they’ve given the fact-free fantasies of anti-reform activists. After all, it’s directly relevant to the announcement on GRA reform Liz Truss is expected to make in the coming days.
While Truss prepares her statement, she might want to refer to her government’s own consultation documents. They stated: “there will be no change to the provision of women-only spaces and services”; “there will be no change to the NHS medical pathways for trans people”; and most importantly of all, “we are committed to making the lives of trans people easier… trans and non-binary people are members of our society and should be treated with respect.”