Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: The Gender Spectrum Collection
The cost of getting a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) has been reduced from £150 to £5.
The move was confirmed by the UK government this morning, after trans respondents to the 2018 National LGBT Survey complained the cost of the certificate was holding them back from applying for one.
According to the government's official page on GRCs, people must 'apply to the Gender Recognition Panel for a Gender Recognition Certificate if you want your acquired gender to be legally recognised in the UK.'
The process has been in place since the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act in 2005.
Minister for Women and Equalities, Liz Truss confirmed the news of the reduction this morning, saying in a statement: "As we build back better, we want transgender people to be free to live and to prosper in modern Britain.
“In the National LGBT Survey, 34% of transgender people told us that the cost of applying for a certificate was holding them back from doing so.
“Today we have removed that barrier, and I am proud that we have made the process of getting a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable.”
"The whole system needs urgent revision, not just an admin fee"
Responding to the news, author Juno Dawson told Attitude: "This is a welcome change, and I would urge trans people to apply if they haven't, but at the moment trans people are waiting upwards of three years to be seen by a specialist doctor and get a 'diagnosis' of gender dysphoria.
"This means many trans people are nowhere near being able to apply for a GRC and receiving legal protection. The whole system needs urgent revision, not just an admin fee."
The cost of obtaining a GRC is still likely to be higher than £5 when the cost of the need for a notary public and sourcing other 'evidence' is factored in.
According to the government's announcement, 'as of December 2020, there have now been a total of 5,871 full GRCs granted since 2005, yet tentative estimates suggest there are an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 transgender people living in the UK.'
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