Tens of thousands back inspirational second year’s transgender campaign
‘I am hopeful things can change’
York second year Ashley Reed’s online petition calling on the government to make it easier for people to change their own legal gender has become a sensation.
The proposal would allow transgender people to cut through the lengthy bureaucratic bullshit currently in place and update their birth certificate without the need for a costly medical check.
She also hopes her petition will get non-binary gender identities, where a person is neither only male nor only female, recognised as legal genders.
Under the current system in the UK, people are required to pay £140 for the Gender Recognition Panel to consider their case for gender reassignment.
Reed slammed the “expensive, time-consuming and distressing” procedure adding: “It costs variable amounts to get a letter from a specialist depending on whether you want to wait years and years on the NHS or get it written privately and travel is really expensive.”
“There isn’t even a clinic in Wales, for instance, and only one in the whole of Scotland.”
Nearly 25,000 people have signed the online petition, despite it being online for less than a week.
She set up the petition on July 22, two days after the government’s new e-petitions site opened, and has quickly seen it rocket to one of the most popular appeals on the site.
According to the rules of the site, the government are preparing an official response to the campaign, with the issue set to be debated in parliament if it reaches 100,000 signatures.
Ashley, 20, said: “I’m really buzzed about the number of signatures and the amount of online attention it’s attracted so far.”
“There have been several tweets a minute about the petition, it’s actually been quite difficult to keep up.”
Veteran LGBT campaigner Peter Thatchell has given the petition his seal of approval on Twitter, as have LGBT rights group Stonewall UK.
She feels we still have a long way to go before Trans people can feel fully accepted in society.
“Changing the legal side of things would be progress but when it comes to changing attitudes in society there’s a long way to go and a need for grassroots change, change at street level.”
“I am hopeful things can change but there’s still a lot of work to do.”