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04th Oct 2021

Transgender people should not have right to self-identify without medical checks, says Liz Truss

Kieran Galpin

Liz Truss

Equalities minister forgets equality includes trans people

Transgender people should not have the right to self-identify without medical checks, says women and equalities minister Liz Truss.

Truss – who sits as both the equalities minister and foreign secretary – believes that “medical checks are important” in deciding whether people are legally transgender, reports the Telegraph.

Though the majority of the opposition believe self-identification is a necessary step towards true inclusion, Truss has said she agrees with MP Rosie Duffield who believes “only women have cervixes”.

Speaking to the Telegraph’s Chopper Politics Podcast at the Conservative Convention on Sunday (October 3), Truss said: “You see the absurdity of identity politics last week at the Labour Conference, which is ending up saying ‘women don’t have cervixes,’ or whatever.”

After continuing to speak about her support of Duffield, she said: “I think when we try and brush things under the carpet and can’t have an open, honest and sensible debate, I think that’s a huge problem for British politics.”

The current legislation only permits a trans person to legally change their gender if they meet a set series of criteria. This includes a declaration saying they will permanently live as their chosen gender, a doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria and a medical report of any hormone treatment or surgery.

They must also have lived in their desired gender for at least two years before the state recognises them.

“I think we’ve taken the right approach with transgender people,” Ms Truss added.

Self identification has long been a topic of scrutiny from the right, particularly in the UK. Trans activists and allies in the government see self identification as a necessary step towards true inclusion.

Self ID would allow workplaces to track trans people within their business properly, so they can then alter their policies to better support the working lives of trans people.

There is also a safety element to the legislation, given that 41 per cent of trans people have been attacked or threatened in the last five years on the basis of their gender identity.

“I have full respect for transgender people, however it wouldn’t be right to have self identification with no checks and balances in the system,” Truss concluded.

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