A group of transsexuals wrote to Reem Asalem – the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences – regarding her recent intervention on the Scottish Government proposals for Gender Recognition Reform. The letter was organised by me. Here is our letter in full,
12 December 2022
Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences
The United Nations
Dear Ms Alsalem,
In short, we welcome your comments, and we share your concerns. Trans people are not a monolith, and we have a range of opinions on most topics. Those of us signing this letter oppose the position taken by the Scottish Government.
We disagree fundamentally with the concept of self-identification of legal gender. Allowing men to declare themselves to be women – simply by filling out a form – makes women’s boundaries meaningless. We also worry greatly about the likely impact on children should they be allowed to change their legal sex before the age of majority.
But we would particularly like to raise with you the impact on transsexual people ourselves. The UK Gender Recognition Act was created for a relatively small group of people who had undertaken a process of gender reassignment and supplied evidence of medical need. Changing legal sex is not a process that should be undertaken lightly, and we believe that the checks and balances in the current legislation are necessary both to protect individuals from making a profound error, and to maintain the trust and confidence in the system.
Without medical reports, gender recognition would be open to abuse. That is obvious to us, and we do not think it surprising that there has been increasing suspicion of transsexual people and our motives. Ironically, this bill – and others like it – are damaging trans rights; they are certainly not supporting them.
Debbie Hayton, and others.
The signatories comprised transsexual people with a range of opinions. As we said, trans people are not a monolith. Some signatories were happy to be identified; others were not. One transman put it like this,
A TS man supported this but asked that his name isn’t made public as he doesn’t want abuse from T people who were once his friendsTrassexual man (name withheld)
We live in strange and disturbing times.
This letter was sent to Reem Alsalem on 12 December 2022