We stand FIRMLY with our trans colleagues and students!
Following consultation, it has been reported that the UK government is planning to scrap proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 which would have removed the current costly, lengthy and humiliating process required to change one’s legal gender. If such reports are true, we condemn this decision, which is a step backwards for trans rights in the UK.
Assertions made by a vocal minority that trans women are a sexual threat to cis women in single–sex spaces and that trans men are victims of an overbearing patriarchy are offensive in their assumptions and biases and do not listen to or take account of trans voices. The idea that single-sex spaces are under threat is a straw man argument, especially as most single-sex spaces already operate on a de facto self-ID basis and rarely require legal evidence of one’s gender. Further, the changes the government had proposed to the GRA would have no impact on the continuing existence of single-sex spaces as these are covered by the Equality Act 2010.
The University of Kent and its LGBT+ Staff Network stand with our trans and non-binary colleagues in calling for trans equality, with better support and recognition for trans and non-binary people and the struggles they face. We know that we, as an institution, still have work to do, but we are unequivocal in our aim to make the University of Kent a safe and welcoming place for staff and students of all genders and identities.
Our message to the world is that trans people are welcome here, without fear of discrimination. Trans people are our colleagues, our students, our friends, and we stand with them every step of the way on the march towards true equality.
If you would like to learn how to be an ally, or wish to find out more about the rights of trans and non-binary people, visit https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/news/ or https://www.stonewall.org.uk/truth-about-trans.