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Keep up to date with analysis on this landmark case for youth access to trans healthcare. BRIEFING: SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST PROCEEDINGS IN DETAIL FROM MERMAIDS DIRECTOR OF LEGAL, LUI ASQUITH WHAT IS A JUDICIAL REVIEW? Lui Asquith, Mermaids Director of legal & Policy, explains: A judicial review is a way for people to seek a remedy if they’ve been affected by a public body’s decision, action or failure to act. Anyone can apply to the High Court, which may provide a remedy if it decides that the authority has acted unlawfully. The case is being brought by Keira Bell…

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If the judicial review against the Tavistock is successful it could steal away the right of all young people to decide what happens with their bodies. Our Legal & Policy Officer, Daminee Budhi, explains the upcoming judicial review and how stopping trans children’s access to puberty blockers could affect access to healthcare for all children. A judicial review has been brought against The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, which houses the Gender Identity Development Services (GIDS) clinic, and which supports young people, and their families, who are experiencing difficulties around their gender identity. The claimants are a 23-year-old former Tavistock…

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Read our full response to the DfE’s new schools guidance on RSE lesson planning here. Read our article on the relevance of clothes and toys to gender identity here. Details of the Mail on Sunday request for comment can be read for context below. In response to the Mail on Sunday article published Sunday 27th September 2020: no teacher has ever been encouraged by any LGBTQ+ organisation to state that ‘tomboys’ should be transgender. The suggestion is discrediting to the teaching profession and we call for the Mail on Sunday to explain its journalistic basis for this assertion. We have…

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Language matters. In a world filled with social media posts, forums, blogs and online articles; all of them demanding answers to be picked apart, it’s difficult sometimes to find the right words. That would be the case if we were talking about any subject, but when the discussion is around something so personal and individual as gender identity… it’s tough. One of the most exciting things about our work over the past 25 years has been bearing witness to young people changing and moulding the way they express who they are. We’ve seen certain words and phrases disappear while some…

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The Department for Education has published new guidance for schools in relation to gender awareness and the curriculum. We would support much of the advice offered to teachers. However, we do have grave concerns about some of the language used, making it more difficult for transgender children and young people to identify confidently as themselves. These are already difficult times for teachers, students and families alike, and we are concerned that the guidance lacks clarity around best care for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse students. We are further concerned by an apparent implication that teachers are pushing their personal ideologies onto…

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We welcome the broadening of this independent review of the Gender Identity Development Service’s important work. We call for transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse voices to be placed at the core of the report. If children and young people are to benefit from a better-provisioned service, the review must be based on clear evidence and lived experience. We also support the Care Quality Commission’s focused inspection of GIDS, due in the Autumn, and we trust it will further support the work of the service’s hard-working clinicians. The wellbeing of our service users lies at the very heart of everything we do….

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(Scroll down for a full analysis of the Government’s announcement) After years of unhelpful speculation, debate and concern around Gender Recognition Act reform for England and Wales, we are relieved an announcement has been made. Many of our supporters feared that trans and non-binary lives would be negatively impacted by new barriers, so we are pleased that the extraordinary effort of combined LGBTQ+ organisations and allies has prevented such harm. It is particularly welcome news that the Equality Act 2010 remains resolutely unchanged amidst a barrage of misinformed demands to weaken equality law in the UK.  For too long, transgender…

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Find a sport you love and go with it – the possibilities are endless. To me, playing sports is freedom. It’s freedom to be yourself, your body and mind being at one, and being part of a team. It’s hope for new beginnings and challenges and it’s a home where friendships and families are built. As I walked into the sports hall at secondary school and saw all the girls in gym skirts and the boys in rugby shorts, something inside of me pulled and made me feel sick and shaky. I didn’t want to be with the girls, I…

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If you are affected by the issues covered in this blog, please contact us for support – or call Samaritans for someone to listen 24-hours-a-day, 365 days a year. On World Suicide Prevention Day, we spoke to Nick Barnes, the founder and Chief Executive of the National Centre for Suicide Prevention, Education and Training CIC and Simon Blake, Chief Executive of the social enterprise, Mental Health First Aid England. We asked them some questions about suicide and how best to protect those we love from harm, and they kindly offered us their thoughts. Suicide thrives in secrecy. So, it is…

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