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Diverse Cymru’s position on Trans inclusion and Intersex.

We have talked to our policy manager, Ele Hicks, about trans inclusion and intersex – read on to hear our position as an organisation on these issues.

As an organisation Diverse Cymru recognise that there are many people who do not identify as male or female.

Whilst the Equality Act 2010 covers men and women on the basis of biological sex, there are many factors that lead to societal discrimination against women, as well as against trans and non-binary people.

The Equality Act 2010 has been a huge step forward in terms of levelling up legal protections in employment, education, training, and goods, facilities and services. However, it is not perfect.

We welcome the recent ruling that non-binary people are protected under the Equality Act 2010. We feel that recognising people’s right to be recognised and treated as the gender they are is vital in a respectful and inclusive society.

This ruling is important, but only addresses part of the issue. Self-identification is about respecting trans and non-binary people and their own identity. The UK Government consulted on allowing self-identification under the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Despite the majority of consultation responses supporting a move to self-identification as the basis for gender recognition the changes have been kicked into the long grass.

The wording ‘gender reassignment’ is also antiquated and implies changing sex. Trans people are being recognised by wider society as the gender they are. Trans people use terms such as ‘gender realignment surgery’ and ‘gender affirmation’ as these terms indicate a person does not change their gender.

For far too many trans and non-binary people life is a daily struggle to be recognised and respected for who they are. There are issues in relation to healthcare, pronouns and titles, social care and other services, as well as discrimination.

Generally[1], cisgender people[2] are not asked what pronouns they use or to prove their gender. They do not have to worry about other people’s reactions and safety before going to the toilet. Transphobia and societal structures and assumptions are a daily lived experience for many trans people. We support the movement to ask everyone’s pronouns and respect everyone’s pronouns. Talking about gender should not be taboo. As a society, we need to embrace talking about gender and asking about pronouns everywhere.

We recognise the right for every human being to be respected for who they are.

It is not about ignoring or overlooking misogyny and the issues that women face in our society. It is about recognising that trans and non-binary people deserve respect and face discrimination and issues too.

Another issue often overlooked is discrimination against Intersex people. Intersex people are invisible in our society. They are often treated as having a medical problem or being defective. Many intersex people have been subject to invasive procedures when they were too young to consent. The Equality Act completely overlooks intersex people by defining sex and a man or a woman.

The binary division of society and expecting people to fit into pre-defined boxes leads to discrimination against Intersex people, as well as trans and non-binary people.

Trans, non-binary and intersex rights are human rights. Enabling one group of people to access their rights and tackling discrimination against them does not diminish or undermine anyone else’s rights.

[1] Systemic and structural discrimination and inequality also affects anyone perceived to be different by society. This includes people of colour, disabled people, people of faith, and lesbian, gay and bisexual people. It should also be recognised that cisgender people can also be people of colour, disabled people etc. as well. The circumstances of discrimination here are some of those most commonly faced by trans, non-binary and intersex people. There is no intention to imply that no other group faces similar discrimination.

[2] Cisgender is the terms for people whose gender identity and gender expression fully reflects the sex they were assigned at birth.

Further Information

Equality in Wales – further information on our website about equality legislation.
What is discrimination?

The Equality Act 2010 – full guidance on the Equality Act from the Government.