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KB V TAVISTOCK AND PORTMAN TRUST, Dec 1st, 2020 Analysis by the Mermaids Legal and Policy Unit This blog post is now out of date. Please see this link for the latest information. Important Update Further to the High Court decision on 1 December 2020, NHS England published amendments to its Service Specification for Gender Identity Development Services for Children and Adolescents. This is a short but concerning document that we would encourage all viewers to read themselves. We have also published a Q&A with an aim to bring together the High Court judgment and the Specification amendments. Please note that we are working hard to clarify…

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A DANGEROUS BETRAYAL OF TRANS YOUTH Today’s judgment from the High Court risks untold, irreparable damage to young trans people in England and Wales. It heralds nothing less than a new era of discrimination, treating trans youth differently from all other young people and barring them from accessing life-saving care.  The judgment does not make it a mandatory requirement for clinicians to seek judicial authority before prescribing puberty blockers to those under 18. The judgment did not decide that hormone blockers are illegal or unlawful.  However, the court ruling effectively makes it very difficult for expert clinicians, who see the…

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“If you do what you love, you will do it well and it won’t matter what others think.” Everyone has a dream of what and who they want to be when they grow up. For many trans, nonbinary and gender-diverse young people, dreaming big can bring challenges, mostly because they don’t have the opportunity to see people like them at work.  For Trans Awareness Week our ‘#TransatWork’ campaign is seeking to celebrate and showcase the many talented trans, nonbinary and gender-diverse people who are doing what they do best.  This blog is here to show everyone that gender does not…

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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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