A statement on trans inclusivity and the Gender Recognition Act

“As the CEO of Nottingham Women’s Centre I believe my experience of running a women-only space has value within the current debates regarding the Gender Recognition Act (GRA). Nottingham Women’s Centre has been open to all women, including trans women, since 1998. I find it bewildering that campaigners against updating the GRA say they want to “protect” women’s spaces when we have been a functioning trans-inclusive women’s space for over 22 years without any issues.

Rather than being a ‘threat’ to our community, trans women have safely accessed our services and positively contributed to the NWC community through volunteering, peer support groups and more. I feel that there is a lot of theoretical fear mongering in debates around GRA, most of which is not based on the reality of what is actually happening ‘on the ground’ in women’s centres. Far from a protective measure, a move to further police women’s gender identity and presentation is a threat to all women, both cis and transgender.”

– Helen Voce, CEO of Nottingham Women’s Centre

We have written to the Prime Minister about this. Click here to read our letter .

Recommended reading:

  • Stonewall: ‘The Truth about Trans Q&A’
    “If you read a newspaper, go on the internet, or turn on the TV at all, you may well have seen some shocking headlines about trans people lately. We’ve developed this Q&A to answer some of the common questions that get asked about trans people, and to tackle some of those myths and misconceptions you might have seen in the media”
  • Mermaids: ‘Trans rights are no threat to single-sex spaces’
    “This isn’t a case of stepping into the unknown at all. In fact, we can simply step into Iceland, Portugal, Malta, Norway, Denmark or Belgium to see what happens when trans people are empowered to self-ID. In fact, we might simply hop over the Irish Sea to the Republic of Ireland, where a Gender Recognition Act allowing self-declaration was passed five years ago. None of these countries have reported a rise in attacks on women in single-sex spaces. None seem to have seen a trend towards men sneaking into changing rooms and toilets pretending to be trans. After all, abusive men don’t need to go through such an absurd process to attack women. Any sexual or domestic abuse survivor knows from experience that abusers are more than capable of carrying out attacks at work, in the home and a myriad of other places.”
  • Cosmopolitan: ‘No BS guide to the Gender Recognition Act reforms
    “The reforms are simply trying to set right how the government might make the existing process under the Gender Recognition Act a better service for those trans and non-binary people who wish to use it. Access to health care is incredibly limited and there are huge waiting lists. This is a small change that would just make a small part of people’s lives a little easier.”
  • Stonewall: ‘LGBT in Britain – Trans Report’
    “This report focuses on the experiences of more than 800 trans and non-binary people who took part in our research. It contains powerful testimonies that demonstrate why progress on equality for trans people should be a priority for all of us. What we have found is deeply worrying. Hate crime and discrimination against trans people, on our streets, in our hospitals, in workplaces and at universities, is widespread. Two in five trans people had to deal with a hate crime or incident in the past 12 months. Many trans people are forced to hide who they are, change how they dress or drop out of university because of fear of discrimination. In our workplaces, half of trans and non-binary people have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT for this reason, and one in eight have been physically attacked by a colleague or customer.”
  • “Women’s spaces for ALL women” video
    The UK government is considering changing the legislation concerning single-sex spaces that would negatively impact both cis and trans women.  This short video explains more.

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