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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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We have received a letter from the Government Equalities Office and would like to thank the Minister for Women and Equalities, Rt Hon Liz Truss for her communication. You can read the Minister’s letter and our original letter below. The past few months have been fraught with hazardous speculation around the impact of potential GRA reforms, and we have raised our service users’ concerns with parliamentarians, allies and the wider public in the hope that any changes brought forward are to the benefit of trans lives. We refrain from pre-empting the Government’s response to the GRA consultation, though we are…

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Please understand the impact of your public statements on trans people. Warning: please be aware that the following post discusses issues which may cause distress. Today, J.K.Rowling re-stated her position on transgender lives. We have previously reached out to her both publicly and privately, offering a calm conversation around the issues she has raised and today, we sent a further email to her team, renewing that offer. We are yet to receive a response. As part of that email, we have disclosed something we hoped never to say. We say it now with permission from those involved. Without giving personal…

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The below letter was submitted today (31 July 2020) to the BBC on behalf of the UK’s leading LGBTQ+ organisations. We are calling, in one voice, for a full and transparent explanation as to why trans organisations were removed from the BBC’s former ‘Gender Identity’ page. Currently, no trans organisations covering England, Scotland and Wales are included in the new ‘LGBT Issues‘ page. Those wishing to add their voice to this complaint can do so here. To: BBC Editorial Policy Department Cc: David Jordan, Director of Editorial Policy and standards; Tim Davie, incoming Director General; Baron Hall of Birkenhead, Director…

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We’ve decided to get together with some of our parents and look at a common question being discussed online: Are kids being identified as trans because of the toys they play with or the clothes they like to wear? The answer, of course is, ‘no’. Children play with all sorts of toys and that doesn’t mean for a second they’re transgender. The same goes – of course – for clothing. Nonetheless, some people do still believe that parents are basing their understanding of their child’s gender identity on clothes and toys and it’s important we address such a common misconception….

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After a period of considerable anxiety and uncertainty, we are pleased that the Minister for Women and Equalities has stated unequivocally that her department will not be rolling back the rights of trans people. However, the Gender Recognition Act consultation was intended to improve the lives of trans people, never to regress their rights, and it is a sad reflection that three years of anguish, delays and assurances have so far achieved nothing more than a promise things won’t get worse. We call on the Government to publish in full the response to the Gender Recognition Act consultation for England…

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Photography by Julia Forsman In a recent twitter post, the children’s author J. K. Rowling stated an apparent concern that some gay people are being ‘turned’ transgender by homophobes via an unidentified process of conversion therapy. This suggestion has caused great offence to parents already doing everything they can to support their trans child in the face of constant threats, ridicule and misinformation from those who have never experienced trans parenthood themselves. If you’re a parent of a trans child and would like to share your story, click here. We hope J.K. Rowling and those supporting her will take notice…

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Susan’s Story I wanted to help other young people to access and benefit from the support of Mermaids in a way which my own family didn’t have when we needed support. Six days before the date of the London Marathon, I saw details of the 2.6 Challenge organizers had set up to replace the event which, of course, couldn’t happen this year due to the pandemic. I would never normally contemplate taking part in the Marathon, but they’d suggested socially-distanced events such as running round your garden for 2.6 miles, or 26 times. That made me decide I’d raise money…

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