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For me, it was a long process of leaning into uncertainty. Not knowing, not having any set answers and eventually identifying myself with the fun rhyming label: ‘gender pending’. And as someone prone to anxiety and obsessive intrusive thoughts, this was both an incredibly challenging and ultimately powerful journey.” In this essay, Jennifer explores honestly and openly the long, scary and ultimately releasing journey of realising and owning their truth as a non-binary person. Beginning with an initial seed of awakening in 2019 and then tracking back through the memories of unease and dysphoria through their childhood and adolescent days…

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October marks Black History Month in the UK, as it is celebrated during the month of February in the US. This month is not just important – it is an essential reminder that as Black people we have had our story hidden or told through a white lens. There’s a real hunger for the affirmation we get when we unearth Black stories, and for the inspiration we get when we celebrate the stories of those who came before us. As much as this is true, it can be a bittersweet moment for Black queer people. There’s plenty of information going around….

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A group of senior human rights experts have joined with parliamentarians and civil society leaders to launch The Cooper Report, which recommends to government how to ban the harmful and degrading practices of “conversion therapy” while urging swift and immediate action to avoid further lives being damaged and lost.  The Forum, chaired by Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, was launched in June 2021 and brings together some of the most experienced legal minds in the country including highly respected legal academics, influential barristers, international human rights lawyers together with senior parliamentarians and civil society leaders.  The Cooper Report, named after the…

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An appeal by Mermaids, supported by Good Law Project and LGBT+ Consortium, along with other leading UK LGBTQIA+ charities, against the decision to award charity status to the LGB Alliance, has had its timetable to trial set out. The directions order from the Tribunal sets out the next steps for the case to trial. The key points in the order are that: LGB Alliance is now a respondent to the appeal, along with the Charity Commission. The hearing is to take place between March and May 2022 (date to be confirmed). The decision earlier this year by the Charity Commission…

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Today (Thursday 30 September 2021) the Sports Council Equality Group have published their “Review into Transgender Inclusion in Domestic Sport in the UK.” We are disappointed to read this review, which rather than focussing on bettering its existing guidance for trans people in sport, yet again ignores the lived experiences of trans people, and misinterprets the Equality Act and academic literature. This report will have ramifications for trans people in the sporting community, and only seeks to cause unnecessary hostility, exclusion and confusion for those wishing to participate in sport. It is important to remember that the SCEG report only…

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I knew that I wanted a new name after I figured out I was a trans guy, so once I changed my name and was no longer connected to that female part of my past, I felt like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It solidified my identity and just felt right after a few years of not knowing why I felt wrong. I loved certain male names, long before I knew what trans was or that it was something people were allowed to be. I would always be the boy character in games and when you needed…

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The Court of Appeal has today told the High Court that it got Bell v Tavistock wrong. Its judgment today overturns a judgment that the High Court made in December 2020. This is wonderful news following almost 10 months of huge difficulty. Mermaids and most importantly the trans young people and their families that we represent are relieved that the Court of Appeal has today (Friday 17 September 2021) overturned the High Court’s decision from December 2020 that effectively barred trans young people from accessing life-saving medical treatment on the NHS unless they had a court order.  The decision today…

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Proposed legislation has worrying implications for trans, non-binary and gender diverse people. Derwen Fay, who is genderfluid, shares their story I am concerned that the current mandatory voter ID proposals have the potential to disenfranchise and discourage many people from participating in the electoral process, a cornerstone of our democracy. In my opinion, the right to vote is one of the most important parts of our society, but these plans threaten to limit people from lower income backgrounds and the LGBTQIA+ community from participating in this process. There are many pitfalls within current proposals which I believe could be exclusionary…

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Updates from Day 2 of the Appeal. You can watch the last two days on YouTube here. What the Claimant said (Bell and Mrs A): The claimant said that the process around the assessment of the child’s capacity to consent was not sufficient. Therefore, the claimant argued that the policy and practice permitted or encouraged illegality. If the policy or practice that is followed would lead to unlawful facts or decisions then that policy or practice would be unlawful.  The claimant went through GIDS guidance on obtaining consent and the process of assessing capacity. It stated that the standard operating…

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New research shows most (86%) Brits do not understand that negative mental health is one of the most likely impacts of misgendering someone. A quarter do not understand why people change their pronouns, but almost a fifth (18%) would like to learn. Instagram and Mermaids are launching a new Insta Allyship Guide and calling for more people to think about their pronouns and #ShareWithPride to help normalise the conversation Instagram and Mermaids have released new research showing the lack of understanding around pronouns, and the impact of getting them wrong.  The research1 of over 2,000 UK adults, revealed a third…

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