A statement from our Head of Programmes, Cara Spence, on today's Scottish Government announcement about next steps in reforming the Gender Recognition Act.
“LGBT Youth Scotland is pleased that the Scottish Government has announced its commitment to reform the Gender Recognition Act in Scotland. If passed, changes to this legislation will significantly improve the lives of transgender young people in Scotland for generations to come. This is vital, as trans people continue to face significant prejudice and discrimination. This legislation needs to be updated if Scotland hopes to be a truly inclusive nation.
We hope that the Scottish Government will continue to listen to the lived experiences of trans young people and their view that there is a real need to lower the age of the Gender Recognition process to include those aged 16 and 17. It is already clear that their views also align with the views of the public, outlined within the previous Scottish Government consultation. We will seek to take the Cabinet Secretary up on her offer to meet with trans young people to hear their thoughts and discuss the impacts of lowering the age limit to 16.
We are, however, disappointed that within these proposals there is no provision for under 16s or for those with non-binary identities. This will clearly be disappointing for young people and their families who had hoped to be able to make decisions that are in the best interests of their child and for the significant number young people that we work with who have non-binary identities.
Moving forward, LGBT Youth Scotland will continue to work towards a world where trans young people’s rights can be realised; engaging in democratic processes and creating opportunities for young people to have their voices heard. We will also work closely with MSPs from across political parties to propose amendments. We have seen some strong commitments to equal recognition for young people from across political party lines.”
Cara Spence - Head of Programmes
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Now is the time to show your support for trans rights - if you are an ally or a trans young person contact your MSPs using our e-action system here. If you have time, be sure to personalise this and tell them why you feel legislation should be reformed to meet the needs of trans young people. Once you’ve done it – share it others!
If you’re a trans young person and you want to talk to someone supportive, get in touch here or talk to your local youth worker, a friend or family member.
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