A win for the trans community.
The UK government has officially reduced the price of a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) down to £5.
The application fee for a GRC was originally priced at £140.
This new reform will go into effect in May 2021. It will be enforced UK-wide except for Northern Ireland and Scotland, who will follow their own consultations.
News of a price reduction first came to light in September 2020 after the Women and Equalities Minister, Liz Truss, said the GRC process would be “kinder and straightforward.”
Even though the fee to apply for the certificate has been reduced, many LGBTQ+ activists have pointed out the need for more reforms regarding trans rights.
Former LGBT+ adviser, Jayne Ozanne, opened up about the new reform in a statement to iNews.
“Whilst I’m sure many will welcome the fact that GRC prices are now in line with other registration documents, this really is a fig leaf to cover the fact that the entire process is still extremely complex and cumbersome,” she said.
“What trans people need is a clear commitment to meaningful reform, with timescales that show that the government are taking their concerns about the process and access to services seriously.”
Ozanne left her role back in March, citing “ignorance” on behalf of ministers handlings of LGBTQ+ issues.
“I’ve been increasingly concerned about what is seen to be a hostile environment for LGBT people among this administration,” she told UK Editor Paul Brand in an interview with ITV News.
The Chief Executive of Stonewall, Nancy Kelley, also echoed a similar opinion, stating that reforms still need to be made to the Gender Recognition Act.
“It’s also important that the government commit to a clear timeline of further changes to streamline the application process, and move it online,” she said.
“However, none of these changes are a substitute for meaningful reform to the Gender Recognition Act.”
Over the years, LGBTQ+ activists have fought for reforms regarding the GRC process and the Gender Recognition Act as a whole.
The Gender Recognition Act, which came into effect in 2005, enables trans people to receive a Gender Recognition Certificate, a document that shows an individual has passed medical criteria for legal recognition in the acquired gender.
In 2017, over 100,000 people campaigned for the government to reform the act to allow trans people to change their legal gender without confirmation from medical professionals.
In September 2020, Truss announced that the Gender Recognition Act will not be reformed, despite the government’s own consultation on the matter finding overwhelming public support for allowing self-ID.