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'This government doesn't care about trans people' says Manchester LGBTQ+ activist

  • Potential reform to 2004 Gender Recognition Act rejected by MPs
  • Proposed changes would allow transgender people to self-identify without need for medical diagnosis
  • Decision has caused backlash - government is 'sowing the seeds of hate among its people' claims activist

There has been outrage among LGBTQ+ activists after a proposed change to the law to allow transgender people to self-identify was rejected by MPs.

The changes, proposed in a consultation by Theresa May’s government, would have amended the Gender Recognition Act to allow transgender people to self-identify as their chosen gender without requiring a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

However, the motion was ruled out in Westminster last week, preventing the possibility of change.

The vote has hit the LGBT+ community in the North West hard, where according to a 2017 government survey, 12% of the UK’s LGBT+ population resides.

trans man, sitting, mandala

Florian Le Hunte, a young trans man living in Manchester, chastised the move, saying: “This government doesn’t care about trans people at all.

“As well as the diagnosis and medical opinions, you also need proof that you have lived in your preferred gender for two years.

"You also need to have proof that you are medically transitioning, which not a lot of trans people can do because it’s so hard to access gender-affirming healthcare in the UK.”

Mr Le Hunte said the lack of reform by the government was “sowing the seeds of hate amongst its people”.

Originally from Cheshire, Mr Le Hunte talkd of his experience of being trans in the region.

“In some ways, being a trans person in Manchester is worse than in rural Cheshire, because there are people who know what you are and they hate it,” he said.

Hate crimes have increased significantly following the 2016 Brexit referendum, with two in five people having experienced a hate crime based on gender identity,  according to a Stonewall report.

The Gender Recognition Act was passed in 2004 and at the time, was a significant step forward in LGBT+ rights in the UK. The Act protects “gender identity” rights, although those who identify as non-binary are not included.

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