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Equal Recognition

The Equal Recognition Campaign calls for the reform of the Gender Recognition Act (2004) to bring it in line with international best practice, using a human rights approach.

The three main asks for the campaign are:

  • Removal of psychiatric diagnosis for gender recognition and for the process to be through self-declaration.

At present, although some transgender people can change the gender on their passports and other identity documents, there is a requirement for a psychiatric diagnosis to confirm an individual’s gender identity to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. Requiring a professional to validate one’s identity is disempowering and unnecessary.

In many aspects of life, people are forced to identify in one of two binary categories (male or female), excluding individuals who identify as having a non-binary gender identity. At present non-binary people currently have no legal recognition of their gender and cannot change their documentation to reflect their gender identity. Many countries already recognise that some people do not identify as men/ boys or women/ girls and provide them with legal documents which respect their non-binary gender identity.

  • Lowering the age of gender recognition to 16.

Under current legislation, transgender young people must wait until the age of 18 to have their gender legally recognised with a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). Not only can this waiting period be damaging to young people’s mental health, those without legal gender recognition have limited legal protection from discrimination. 

 Our Work

LGBT Youth Scotland is a key partner in the campaign working alongside the Scottish Trans Alliance, the Equality Network and a whole host of supporters including LGBTI and women’s organisations. This work is run in parallel with Scottish Government’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (2004).

Youth Commission

To support campaign development we set up a Youth Commission on Gender Recognition. Youth commissioners are currently meeting with MSPs to discuss why they’d like to see legislative change for the Gender Recognition Act (2004).

Engaging with Professionals

To support this work we developed a campaign briefing alongside the Scottish Trans Alliance, the Equality Network and Stonewall Scotland.

Engaging with the Scottish Government

As well as supporting young people to meet with MSPs, we submitted a consultation response to the Scottish Government in March 2018. This was based on the views of more than 80 transgender young people.


Want to know more?

Contact our Policy and Participation Officer, Deva MacGinty:  

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