Write to your MP – House of Commons debate on transgender equality
On Thursday 1st December 2016, The House of Commons will debate a motion on Transgender Equality.
Maria Miller’s Committee has called for the removal of qualifying requirements for gender change, so that anyone could easily become legally a member of the opposite sex, without the need for any form of social or medical transition.
We’re asking everyone worried about the implications of this move to contact their MP.
You can also find your MP by putting your postcode in the green box in the envelope and clicking the arrow.
Our letter is below.
Write To Them blocks copied letters, so please use your own words!
You’re very welcome to include selections from our letter, though.
Dear [MP] …
On Thursday 1st December MPs will take part in a debate in the House of Commons Chamber on a motion on transgender equality. While I welcome a discussion on the challenges faced by transgender people in today’s society, I am concerned that the interests of women and girls are not being represented in this ongoing debate and I would like you, as my MP to stand up for your female constituents.
In January the Women and Equalities Committee produced a report calling for a self-declaration system for legally changing ones gender. Currently if a person wishes to change their legal gender they must be over 18, be diagnosed with gender dysphoria and have been living in their desired gender role for at least two years, and intend to do so for the rest of their life.
The Committee’s report called for the removal of all three of these criteria, so that anyone could easily become legally a member of the opposite sex, without the need for any form of social or medical transition. Effectively, any man could claim transgender status to gain access to sex-specific spaces and services whether he genuinely thinks of himself as a woman or not and no matter how he dresses, and questioning his motives would be classed as a hate crime under the Equalities Act 2010.
In most areas of life, I support transgender people to live as they wish. However, in certain situations we distinguish between biological men and biological women for reasons of safety, dignity, privacy and fairness. Often this debate is characterised as being about public toilets, but other examples include prisons, communal changing facilities, intimate care for the disabled and the elderly, hospital wards and competitive sport.
Maria Miller has consistently denied any clash of rights here, but there are already numerous examples of violent males being housed in female prisons (eg. Lauren Jeska), males competing against females in sport (eg. Fallon Fox) and men taking accolades from women (eg. Chloe Allen).
I am also concerned about the effect this push towards the concept of ‘gender identity’ will have on children. There has been a huge increase in children seeking treatment for gender dysphoria, often based simply on a preference for toys and clothes usually associated with members of the opposite sex.
Studies show, if left to grow up without medical intervention, 80% of gender-questioning children grow into healthy adults content in their bodies. If children are started on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, the desistance rate is close to zero, leading to a lifetime of medication and surgery.
For an even more detailed argument, take a look at the second comment below. A FPFW reader allowed us to copy the letter she wrote to her MP; it’s brilliant.