Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond has called for better treatment of transgender people following a hard hitting report on the subject from a parliamentary committee she took part in.
The Women and Equalities Committee challenged the Government to ensure fair and equal treatment for transgender people in the report published today THURSDAY.
It made over 30 recommendations and said ministers need to take action to ensure full equality for transgender people, provide tougher protection from discrimination, better service provision across the board and a commitment to international best practice.
The committee found that there was still widespread transphobia experienced by individuals every day and this was undermining careers, incomes, living standards, access to medical care and services, plus physical and mental health.
“Britain really does need to move on from this widespread transphobia which has echoes of homophobia from decades past, and which was very successfully tackled by government and society,” said Flick.
“But it’s clear from some of the quite heart-breaking evidence I heard while on the committee that we have a very long way to go if this country is going to start to treat transgender people equally and with the compassion, and not with discrimination and hostility.
“I very much welcome a report that outlines the root and branch reform that is needed in areas like health care and criminal justice, and that the 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which was pioneering but is now outdated, needs reform.
“The Government also needs to implement a strategy for transgender equality to offer a framework for progress to be made and to tackle hate crimes - an area in which it is doing much welcome work.
“Britain is a fair and tolerant country, but this failure to recognise and treat equally transgender people, when other areas such as gay, lesbian and bisexual rights have made such startling progress, is simply not acceptable in 2016.
“The Government is awaiting our report and it will be taking it seriously.”
The committee received over 250 evidence submissions, many of them from individual transgender people. It held evidence sessions with six government ministers, as well as transgender organisations and campaigners, health and other public sector professionals, and academics before publishing report.