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22.06.2021 Trans young people should have the same rights to bodily autonomy as any other young people  We have seen the distress and further delay to accessing treatment that the High Court’s decision in Bell v Tavistock has created for our service users. The decision has put a further strain on the already marginalised transgender and non-binary community and their families in this country. We believe strongly that trans and non-binary children should have the same rights over their healthcare decisions as anyone else, in line with their evolving understanding. This is in line with the UN Convention on the…

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Mermaids, leading UK LGBTQ+ charities and Good Law Project appeal the LGB Alliance’s charity status The Charity Commission’s decision to give the controversial LGB Alliance charitable status has been met with disbelief and sorrow by LGBTQ+ people across the UK. We have now lodged an appeal against that decision, supported by LGBT+ Consortium, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Foundation and TransActual. The appeal is being crowdfunded by Good Law Project. To be registered as a charity, an organisation must be established exclusively for charitable purposes, as recognised in law, and it must pursue them in a way which gives rise to tangible…

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Mermaids Director of Legal and Policy, Lui Asquith on the need for the EHRC, institutions and allies to do more. (This article discusses issues around homophobia, transphobia, racism, self-harm and suicide) Last Thursday we signed a letter, along with other leaders of trans* and LGBTIQ+ organisations to express our frustration and disappointment at the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) recent record on LGBTIQ+ people’s rights and trans people’s rights specifically. During the week of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) we are reflecting on the last 12 months which has resulted in further suppression, marginalisation, policing…

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We welcome the proposal set forward in the Queen’s Speech to ban the horrendous practice that is so-called “conversion therapy”.  We, as LGBTIQ* people, are victim to “conversion therapy” if someone seeks to convert, cancel, cure, or change a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity.  We call for the Government to publish a full and comprehensive Bill, that bans conversion practices: 1. In all forms, 2. For all LGBTIQ+ people,  3. Of all ages,   4. In all settings. It is vital that all forms of so-called conversion therapy are banned, in all settings including psychological, medical, privately in families…

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The Cass Review has been launched in order to investigate the NHS’s provision for children and young people looking to access gender identity related healthcare. Dr Hilary Cass was appointed in late 2020 to chair this independent review by the NHS. The Review will take around 12 months to complete. Dr Cass has confirmed that this review will be listening to the lived experiences of children, families and clinicians who are involved in gender identity related healthcare. We welcome this news that transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children and young people and their families will be consulted throughout the process…

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We are so excited to announce an online legal clinic in collaboration with international law firm, Latham & Watkins, where you can receive free and independent guidance on the use of deed polls to change your or your child’s name. A Deed Poll is a legal document which officially recognises someone’s change of name.  The document will include the old name and the new name and will state the intention to only use the new name. You can also change the title like ‘Miss’, ‘Mr’ and ‘Mx’ for example. This will allow you to get all your or your child’s…

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NHS England has updated the guidelines it uses around ‘puberty blockers’ for under 16s. It follows a High Court case in late 2020 which effectively stopped trans young people getting vital access to medication without having to go to court first. Then, a High Court case in March, 2021, ruled that young people could get access to puberty blockers as long as they had the support of their parents/guardians and practitioners.  Now, after almost three weeks, NHS England has updated its guidelines to fall into line with the law. Let’s take a look at what’s changed and what it means…

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This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. It is now two weeks since the High Court ruled that parents could consent on their child’s behalf to Puberty Blockers, but still NHSE hasn’t changed its guidance to reflect the law. It is an extraordinary state of affairs for NHS England to be out of kilter with a High Court ruling for such a period of time, especially when we’re dealing with young people already suffering the impact of previous harmful decisions. Decisions which were, if you recall, enacted with blistering rapidity. On…

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Following World Rugby’s publication of new transgender guidelines in October 2020, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) has also conducted a review of its transgender policy and eligibility criteria for playing contact rugby union in England. The national governing body for rugby union in England, the RFU’s transgender inclusion policy can be read here. HAVE YOUR SAY! The RFU has now opened an external consultation period which will run until 5pm on 16 April 2021. Our Trans Inclusion in Sports Youth Worker, Verity Smith (he/him) has taken a look at the policy and consultation, which has been launched on Trans Day…

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This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. We welcome today’s High Court Family Division ruling that parents can consent to their children being prescribed puberty blockers without needing to go to court, and that puberty blockers are not a special category of treatment which has to be authorised by a court order. This is welcome news for those fearing the Keira Bell ruling would prevent them from accessing ‘puberty blockers’. “We feel a huge amount of relief having heard this news. My youngest is 12 and we were told just before…

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