Hey everyone, welcome to my first Oxford SU blog post! My name is Katt and I am going to be VP Women for 18/19. For those that don’t know I am elected to represent and advocate for the rights of all women at this university. I will also be working on policies and resources which have a gendered aspect, this includes trans rights!
I’m going to be talking to Y'all about the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) reformation. This is a big part of my work at the moment as one of my key priorities is how the VP Women and SU can support trans folk better. Best guesses say that Oxford Uni has around 100 trans students, this is estimated from the 0.4% of the population the government estimates. Oxford SU firmly believes in equality for all and this is one way of helping to achieve that.
What is the GRA?
The GRA governs how trans people can have their identity legally recognised, it was first launched in 2004 but is now super outdated and needs reform, which is what is happening now!
Whats wrong with GRA as it currently stands?
Currently trans folk have to endure a long and dehumanising process to ‘prove’ their gender identity. It’s very stressful, complex, expensive and largely inaccessible to many trans people. The current GRA also doesn’t legally recognise the existence of non-binary people and we want that changed because non-binary folk exist and deserve rights!
So how can y’all help support your trans friends and peers?
You can respond to the government consultation! Stonewall have a great set of answers as do the NUS. We would advise you looking up some template answers if you’re unsure about how to fill the consultation in for the best of trans folk. The Oxford University LGBTQ+ Society has compiled a super detailed document of how best to respond to the GRA and you can find that on their Facebook, linked here.
Why is it important to submit to this consultation?
This consultation is a process for the government to gather feedback and the more positive feedback there is the more likely it is that the act gets changed. Also, it's important to remember that opposing views will be loud and they will use this opportunity to spread harmful myths about trans people, we must use our voice to stand up for trans folk and their rights. Now is the time for reform.
What are the key things you need to know?
- The submission is open until 11 pm on October 19th 2018
- It takes roughly 15/20 mins (shorter than an episode of Brooklyn 99)
- Everyone can fill this in
- Questions 1 and 2 are just for those who identify as trans
Check the table below for advice on how to fill it in!
If you have any questions or want to chat - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org