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National Gender Identity Clinical Network launched

The National Gender Identity Clinical Network for Scotland (NGICNS) was launched in Glasgow yesterday (3 December 2014) at an event providing trans people with an opportunity to learn more about the Network, and enabling clinicians to hear trans people’s priorities for change.

In 2007 the Scottish Trans Alliance identified, through community feedback, that there was an enormous disparity, like a postcode lottery, from one health board to another in terms of the gender reassignment services that were provided. It caused immense problems and significant distress to trans people across Scotland.

As a result of intense lobbying the Scottish government implemented the Gender Reassignment Protocol. In 2012 we pushed for the creation of the Network to ensure the national protocol is implemented equally across all Scottish health boards.

The creation of the Network is a major step forward and an opportunity to improve services and provide greater transparency in how assessments are carried out and decisions made about service provision. It will itself aim to be transparent and empower trans people and NHS professionals working in Scotland. This will be achieved in part by the Network steering group, the members of which will provide expert guidance and information about how services are working on the ground.

It is hoped that NGICNS will also be able to raise issues with the NHS, such as the lack of capacity gender identity services are currently experiencing, and advocate for changes which will improve the patient experience.

The Network has the potential to help shape a gender identity service which is joined up, transparent, effective, equitable, and responsive to the needs of those it serves. For our part we look forward to working with NGICNS to try and achieve just that.

Denmark Leads Europe on Gender Recognition

The Danish Parliament has passed the most progressive gender recognition legislation in Danish FlagEurope. The new law will enable people to have the gender they identify as legally recognised without any requirement for them to have a diagnosis or have undergone medical treatment.

Unfortunately applicants will have to be at least 18 years old to access gender recognition but the only other requirement is a six month waiting period between making an application and receiving gender recognition.

It is very encouraging to see European gender recognition legislation which much more closely matches Transgender Europe’s best practice check-list. Malta currently has a similar law progressing through Parliament.

Argentina continues to have the world’s most progressive gender recognition law, it doesn’t have a waiting period and enables people under 16 to have their gender recognised with additional requirements.

 

New Fee Structure for Gender Recognition Panel

The Ministry of Justice is bringing in a new fee system for all tribunals including the Gender Recognition Panel. Despite our own consultation response, and that of other organisations, stating that a single system for all tribunals would have a disproportionately adverse effect on certain applicants, including trans people, the UK Government has decided to go ahead with the proposals.

If you are planning to apply for gender recognition you may wish to consider doing so before the new system comes into place on Monday 7th October.

The new system will work as follows:

Disposable Capital Test

  • This first test assesses the applicant’s disposable capital e.g. savings, investments, second homes etc
  • If an applicant has £3000 or more of disposable capital they will be required to pay the full fee – currently £140 (although this may change when this system comes into force)
  • If an applicant has under £3000 of disposable capital they will move onto the Gross Monthly Income Test

Gross Monthly Income Test

  • This second test assesses the applicant’s gross monthly income i.e. their monthly income before tax from all sources except excluded benefits
  • If an applicant’s income is below the threshold set out in the table below they will not have to pay a fee

Table

  • If an applicant’s income is over the relevant threshold set out in the table above they will be required to make a contribution towards their fee of £5 for each additional £10 income above the threshold, up to the value of the fee e.g. if an applicant has an income of £1185, an additional £100 over the relevant threshold, they will be required to pay £50 towards the fee

 

Contracts for the Provision of Gender Reassignment Surgical Services Announced

We are very pleased that the contracts providing for gender reassignment surgery to trans people in Scotland have been awarded.  [Read more…]

The Scottish Trans Alliance has submitted evidence on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill

We have now submitted our evidence to the Equal Opportunities Committee on the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill. If you would like to read our evidence you can view it here.

California Governor Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Transgender Student Rights Bill

Although existing state law already banned discrimination based on gender identity, this new law breaks new ground in specifically ensuring that all children in California schools will be allowed to participate in the full school experience including sports, programs and activities that match their gender identity.

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/08/calif-governor-jerry-brown-signs-landmark-transgender-student-rights-bill/

Thousands March at Glasgow Pride Amid Protests Over Russian Anti-LGBT Abuses

News coverage of Glasgow Pride and the growing protests over the situation in Russia.

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/08/thousands-march-at-glasgow-pride-amid-protests-over-russias-anti-gay-law/

National Transgender Memorial Vandalised

What is believed to be the only memorial to victims of transphobic violence in the world has been vandalised in Manchester less than a month after it was dedicated.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/08/07/uk-national-transgender-memorial-vandalised/

Glasgow’s Lord Provost Raises Gay Rights With Russia

Great news that the pressure on Russia is continuing to grow. Lets use our strong ties with the Russian people to bring an end to human rights abuses in that country.

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=10499

 

Visible Bodies: Transgender Narratives Retold

From San Diego, California USA.  Some great photos and self-descriptions of gender identity are showcased here.

http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2013/08/05/visible-bodies-transgender-narratives-retold#.UgC8Ugdb9_U.facebook