Yesterday’s news that the UK government will not be carrying out reforms to the Gender Recognition Act, despite overwhelming support to allow transgender and non-binary people to self-identify without a medical diagnosis, is bitterly disappointing. UEA Students’ Union condemns this decision and stands in solidarity with all transgender and non-binary members of the community.
The current legislation does not give non-binary identities legal recognition, and the gender recognition process is distressing, lengthy, and expensive. The consultation showed 70% in favour of reforming the Gender Recognition Act, and to ignore this is undemocratic.
We understand that this decision affects many UEA students, and we will support you to the best of our ability throughout your time here, standing up for trans, non-binary, and intersex rights both at UEA and nationally. Trans rights are human rights. The SU offers support in the form of its Advice service, which can be accessed here and can direct you to the right support for you. UEA Pride is also available as a peer support group to provide LGBTQ+ students with a safe space, and has welfare representatives on hand to discuss members’ worries, including a specific representative for transgender, non-binary and intersex students’ concerns. Students can also access support via UEA through Student Support Services, or locally through the Norwich service Evolve, which offers free, confidential gender identity support for young people who identify on the trans spectrum.
We would also like to work in partnership with UEA to alleviate the stresses of transitioning for students, including simplifying the administrative process of self-identifying in the UEA system and creating a more inclusive environment for everyone at the University.
You can show your support for the trans and non-binary community on this issue by signing this petition, or if you would like to discuss what the Students’ Union is working on for LGBTQ+ students, feel free to email your officers:
Oliver Jones – LGBTQ+ Officer (trans and non-binary place): firstname.lastname@example.org
Kasper Hassett – LGBTQ+ Officer (open place): email@example.com
Em Anderson – Welfare, Community, and Diversity Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org