Written By: Ben Glaze 14/1/16
The Commons Women and Equalities Committee today demands official recognition at 16, an ‘X gender’ on passports and better police training.
One in three transgender people in Britain try to kill themselves, according to a shock report out today.
And up to 650,000 people in the UK are “gender incongruent to some degree”, says the Commons Women and Equalities Committee.
MPs today set ministers a six-month deadline to come up with a new strategy for ensuring equality for transgender people – warning a plan issued in 2011 remains “largely unimplemented”.
Meanwhile, the numbers of children and teenagers “coming out” as transgender have increased fourfold over the past five years, and up to 1,000 young people have transitioned to a new gender with their parents’ support, MPs reveal.
Their report comes after high-profile celebrities like boxing promoter Kellie Maloney – previously Frank Maloney – and reality TV star Caitlyn Jenner, who was known as Bruce Jenner before having a sex change, spoke out to raise awareness of trans issues.
The committee’s recommendations include cutting the age limit for obtaining official recognition of a new gender without parents’ consent from 18 to 16; mandatory police training on transphobic hate crimes; and offering people the option of recording their gender as “X” in a passport.
Committee chairwoman Maria Miller said: “Fairness and equality are basic British values.
“Britain leads the world in recognising lesbian, gay and bisexual rights, but despite some welcome progress, we are still failing trans people in so many ways.
“Our report challenges attitudes towards trans people calling for them to be treated equally and fairly.”
Britain still has “a long way to go” to ensure equality for transgender people, according to the report – the first produced by a UK parliamentary committee into transgender issues.
People whose gender identity differs from that assigned them at birth experience “high levels of transphobia” on a daily basis, undermining their careers, incomes, living standards and mental and physical health, says the document.
It cited estimates that as many as 650,000 people in the UK are “gender incongruent to some degree” and said about a third of transgender adults and half of young people attempt suicide.
The report also warned of a “clear risk of harm” if trans people are held in prisons according to their birth genders.
Last year, two transgender women died while serving time in male jails, and another spent a week in a men’s prison before being moved.
The position of transgender prisoners must be “urgently” clarified in new guidelines being drawn up, the committee said.
The report was particularly scathing of transgender people’s treatment by the NHS, warning of “significant problems … due to the attitude of some clinicians and other staff”, driven by “lack of knowledge and understanding and even in some cases to out-and-out prejudice”.
Source: The Mirror