This is a really good read on the issues with the Gender Recognition Act as it stands in relation to those aged 16 to 18.
What if the person who is 16+ is estranged from their parents?
What if they have the support of their parents, but can not afford to pay privately for the consultation and paperwork?
It means we have in place laws which say a person aged 16+ can consent to medical procedures and see medical professionals with out parent/guardian permission, but can’t apply for the #GRA
Why is #GRA important for a person who is 16+? I’ve had people say sure they can just wait until they are 18. Well firstly 16 is when we sit our first state exams, it is when our legal and public Id which we will use for our professional life starts.
It is just not possible to have your leaving cert results issued under a different name at a later date. Also for people are in non gender mixed schools, it’s frankly hellish and if the only other local option is also non mixed, school policy often won’t allow a transfer.
If 16+ were allowed to self ID the same way as 18+ are, then it removed the barriers which can take over 2 years anyway. It means they can sort out all the paper work to live authentically as themselves, and not have to always explain.
A person does not have to undergo surgery or hormones to apply for their gender to be acknowledges by the State under the #GRA
16+ plus can already legally consent to any surgery or treatment currently in our healthcare system, if they meet the criteria for it. Extending the #GRA to allow them to self ID will not change that.
What it will do is frankly save lives and save the quality of someones life. Given the high rate of young trans people ending their lives and the impact tranphobia can have on a person’s mental health, extending the #GRA fully to 16+ can only be a good thing.
What it will allow is for those who are 16+ to wear the school uniform which aligns with thier gender, where a school has gendered uniform policies. #GRA
Another failing of the #GRA is that it is very Binary. It does not take into account people who are #NonBinary, #Agender or #GenderFuild. Trans people are expected to fit into a very binary system of gender conformity and gender expression.
This mean that these trans people are left with out legal recognition under #GRA and often access to services. The trans healthcare we have also is stuck in this binary mode and those who discover they are non binary are considered to have dropped out or failed to transition.
Which means they don’t have access to the medication which adjusts their body to what is optimal for them. They face hurdles when it comes to work and don’t have the support they need. #GRA should include #NonBinary people and those who are 16+
I do my best to be an Ally, I am cis and I have trans people in my life. If you are a cis person who has genuine question, I am happy to answer them the best I can.