The deadline for completing the GRA consultation is 19 October – make this a date you keep

Posted by PJ Macleod on 12 October 2018

Check your diaries! You have a date.

You wanted to respond to the Gender Recognition Act consultation but decided to save it for later, right? Yes, we all did.

In that case, nestled in your calendar between National Chocolate Cupcake Day and Episode 5 of Strictly you’ll see your little reminder on 19 October to get your do-gooder skates on. You have one week to go.

We all know, whether it’s committing to Stoptober or remembering to take those re-usable bags to the supermarket, it’s hard to turn our I shoulds into I dids. When adding into the equation our limited time, money and emotional energy, more often than not it comes down to three questions:

  • Is it that important?
  • Is it easy enough to act on?
  • Will it actually make a difference?

Well, I’m here with good news! Filling out the GRA consultation is a no-brainer. The answer to all questions is yes.

Is it important?

As we know, trans people have to go through a long, complicated, and humiliating process before they can have their gender legally recognised in ways that most people take for granted.

First there are the expensive fees, then there’s the need to be diagnosed with a mental illness and, after jumping through a series of hoops, there’s the ‘spousal veto’ that gives husband or wife the power to undo the whole thing.

Meanwhile non-binary people have no option to get legal recognition of their gender at all.

This is not ok. It causes needless distress to trans people, who are already some of the most vulnerable in our society. On top of that, the GRA fails to live up to UN human rights recommendations. We need to do better.

Is it easy?

The consultation form itself might look quite daunting, but really it’s just a case of picking out the questions you’re confident answering. If you want to give lots of detail, go for it. That being said, a simple tick or cross in the right place is all that’s needed – you could actually be done in minutes.

If you fill it out on the Stonewall website, their version will even walk you through the whole form step-by-step. It’s a simple as that.

Will it make a difference?

At some point or another, we’ve all found ourselves questioning whether one more person at the protest or one more petition signature can really have that much of an impact.

This isn’t one of those times.

We’re past the point of petitioning the Government to put this on the agenda – the legwork there has already been done. Reform is finally on the table and parliament is all ears. The most important thing now is making sure our message is heard.

This moment is one of those rare occasions where a small act can have a big impact. Your support could genuinely help change the lives of trans people across the country.

Don’t miss your chance to put a few minutes of your time to good use. Make sure this is a date you keep. Get clicking now.

PJ Macleod profile

PJ Macleod

Liberty
Digital and Communications Assistant