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Blog — Analysis

Mermaids Press

A paediatric doctor and parent of a trans child shares her view on the future of healthcare for gender diverse young people in England. I have been a paediatric doctor for 10 years. I also have a primary-school age transgender child. When my child first raised questions about their gender identity (“Mum, how do people know if they are a girl or a boy? Because I think I’m a boy”) I went looking for evidence to help me decide how to respond.  After about six months of being supportive and non-judgemental while they continued to express their questions, my child…

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Mermaids Press

Two young trans people share their views on proposed changes to NHS healthcare services for trans and gender-diverse young people in England We continue our series of blogs from our communities on the impact of the proposed guidelines with two young trans people, Jamie and Elijah, who have shared their views on the specification.  The consultation on the proposed guidelines runs until 4 December 2022, and we have produced guidance on the consultation to help you respond.  Jamie: “Social transition – it’s a lifesaver” Social transition saved me as a teenager. To some, it may seem unbelievable how such simple…

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Mermaids Press

“It sounds like they are trying to stop trans youth existing” This month, we published a blog summarising some of the proposed changes to the NHS healthcare services for young trans and gender-diverse people in England.  The new guidelines were met with anger and frustration by the young people and families we support, with those on our helplines and forums expressing deep concern about the implications to their future wellbeing.  In response, we held two online engagement sessions, one for trans and gender-diverse young people, and one for parents to listen to their views.  What struck us most was the…

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Mermaids Press

A content note: these proposals may make for heavy reading for those accessing, or hoping to access, children and young people’s gender services in England. Take care while reading. NHS England has launched a consultation running from 20 October to 4 December on how the future gender services should run in the new clinics opening in Spring 2023.   Mermaids has significant concerns about these proposals, which will likely add more barriers to accessing care. They suggest that young people should be prevented from exploring social transition (e.g changing name or pronouns) unless diagnosed with “clinically significant distress”, and that young…

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Mermaids’ Head of Policy & Research Kai O’Doherty attended a debate on trans-inclusion in a ban on conversion practices this week. Missed it? Here’s what happened – and what might happen next.  What happened? Yesterday (13 June 2022), MPs filled Westminster Hall to debate a public-backed petition calling for the UK Government to reverse its decision to exclude trans and non-binary people from a ban on conversion practices.  It’s been a long road to get to where we are now, with many twists and turns, which you can read about here. After witnessing previous Parliament debates which have descended into…

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its guidance on single sex spaces on 4 April 2022. This is non-statutory ‘guidance’, it is not the law itself.  The key page regarding the inclusion of trans people in single-sex spaces can be found here.  The guidance explains broadly that trans people can only be discriminated against if that is a proportionate way of meeting a legitimate aim, but fails to offer a clear representation as to how high that threshold is. It is unfortunate (considering that this may be used by the general public) that the EHRC doesn’t stress…

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As the consultation period on proposed reforms to the Human Rights Act (HRA) draws to a close, Mermaids’ policy team reflects on the history of the Act and how it has advanced LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK, and looks at how the Government’s plans will restrict protections currently afforded to us all.      What is the Human Rights Act (1998)? The HRA, passed in 1998, incorporated into domestic UK law the fundamental rights and freedoms set out in the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), which everyone in the UK is entitled to. More specifically, the HRA lets you defend those…

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Mermaids Press

The reforms are a significant step forward for trans rights as fundamentally, they acknowledge that trans people are who they say they are. The current system is unnecessarily bureaucratic, stigmatising and invasive, and consultations in both Scotland and the UK have shown overwhelming public support for change.

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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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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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