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A guide to responding to the Gender Recognition Act consultation

The Scottish Government want to know what you think about their draft Bill to reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) 2004. We've co-produced a guidance document to help you respond to the consultation.

“LGBT Youth Scotland shares young people's disappointment that there is no inclusion of non-binary people in this draft bill and no process for under 16s who wish to obtain legal recognition of their gender. We do, however, recognise that progress takes time and regard the draft bill as a steppingstone to full legal recognition for trans people.”

- Dr Mhairi Crawford - Chief Executive, LGBT Youth Scotland


How can you help?

LGBT Youth Scotland is going to respond to the consultation as an organisation and young people's voices will be at the forefront of this. If you are young person attending one of our groups, there will be an opportunity in January to participate in a workshop to feed into our organisational response. However, you can also respond to the consultation as an individual and the information on this page will help you do that.

Who can respond to the consultation?

Anyone can respond to the consultation. It’s really important that the Scottish Government hear from both young trans and non-binary people as well as their allies.

You can help shape the next step in reforming the GRA by telling the Scottish Government if they've got this Bill right. By showing your support for GRA reform and telling the Government if they've got this draft Bill right, you can help us make the case for the best changes possible.

Why does the GRA need to be reformed?

Currently, the GRA allows some trans people to change the sex on their birth certificate, providing them with formal legal recognition of who they are. Having a birth certificate with the correct sex on it makes sure trans people’s final bit of paperwork matches their life. It makes life admin easier, helps trans people marry and get their pension correctly, and it gives them privacy, ensuring trans people are not outed as trans every time they use their birth certificate. These are things that many of us take for granted every day.

However, the current process is bureaucratic, invasive and humiliating. As a result of these barriers, only one in ten trans people have a gender recognition certificate that is necessary to change the sex on their birth certificate.   We want to improve this, and you can help.

*Remember that GRA reform is only about how trans people are able to update their birth certificates to reflect who they are. These changes do not affect the laws governing how trans people access single-sex spaces, participate in sport, update other identity documents like passports or driving licenses, or interact with services on a day-to-day basis. None of these things are decided by what is on a trans person’s birth certificate.*

You can download this document which outlines the five questions that the Scottish Government are asking and gives some ideas on how to respond. You don’t need to respond to every question.

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