By Charlie Stone, author and journalist who has worked for the BBC, several national newspapers in the UK and international media.
The UK government has ‘made the process of getting a certificate fairer, simpler and much more affordable' as the trans lobby wins yet another battle about which few people care.
Right, that's it! I've made up my mind. It's about time I officially became transgender. You should join me. Come on, think about it.
Just think how much easier life would be, and it's gonna get ever easier. It's as cheap as chips these days, too. It's now only five quid ($7 US) and it's done - no need for a scalpel and a surgical bucket. Nope. Not anymore. Us blokes can hang onto the family jewels, because we only have to identify as female. We don't have to actually be female in any way, shape or form.
Cool. I even have a unisex name already - though I do kinda like ‘Charlene'.
The reason for the existence of a gender recognition certificate (GRC) is that it can be used to rewrite our gender on that lifelong paper trail that follows us all the way from our birth certificate to our death certificate. It used to cost £140 and require two medical reports, but that had been criticised for being too expensive and bureaucratic, and it took too long.
Now, the government aims to simplify the process and move it online. But this doesn't go anywhere near far enough for trans campaigners. Oh no. Because the process still requires a doctor's note and for the applicant to have lived in their chosen gender for at least two years.
Plenty of LGBTQ+ campaigners, of course, are outraged at that. Church of England evangelist and trans activist Jayne Ozanne tweeted that the fee reduction was a "fig leaf when what is needed is real reform of the complex processes!"
Eloise Stonborough, of LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall, told the Guardian the fee reduction was a "small step in the right direction ... All trans people deserve to be respected for who they are. Westminster's failure to introduce a streamlined and de-medicalised gender recognition system based on self-determination, which includes non-binary people, continues to be a hurdle in progressing LGBT+ equality across the UK."
Well, yes, I agree. This is sure to happen anyway, so it may as well happen now. The minute I can just fill in a form online and become transgender, I'm on it. Sign me up. Then all I need to do is get really upset when somebody uses the incorrect pronoun.
Being trans is most certainly the way to go, the direction of travel. The trans community has the wind in their rainbow sails, mostly through the simple act of shouting VERY LOUDLY. The more noise they make, the faster they seem to go. And, as the old phrase goes ‘if you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
I always assumed ‘the op' must surely be a prerequisite. And, as a heterosexual male, I'm rather attached to my sex organs. I'm also not convinced it's actually feasible to construct female sex organs from male sex organs, or vice versa, no matter how skillful the surgeon. It's never gonna be possible for a man to experience the female orgasm for a start, and how would he know for sure it had hit the spot, never having been a woman?
My cunning plan is to become a biological male who self-identifies as a transgender male. It'll save me an awful lot of cash on oversize stilettos and dresses. Plus, to be honest, I'm too tall and broad, and I have a protruding Adam's apple and large hands. I also walk like a nightclub bouncer. Nobody would ever believe I was a woman, I could only ever look like a man who's trying to look like a woman.
After I get my trans status, all I then need to do is get myself a nice cushy job in the Civil Service or at the BBC, or a gig in a company with woke credentials, and I'll be sorted for life. There are a multitude of trans-friendly laws and workplace diktats these days. I could sit in the corner making paper planes all day, secure in the knowledge that no manager would ever have the balls to fire me.
And if, God forbid, I ever ended up in jail. I'd rather be a heterosexual male banged up with a load of female convicts than be locked away with a horde of sexually frustrated males. It's the way to go, trust me. Let's all be trans.
Whereas the £140 fee was a barrier, the five-quid process is a bargain. A new adult passport, for example, costs at least £75.50, plus additional fees for postage, depending on the service required. Even a replacement marriage or birth certificate will set you back £11.
That said, if you've been struggling to live in the wrong body your whole life - or at least since puberty - is saving £135 really gonna make all the difference? That's like, what, a meal for two in a restaurant with a nice bottle of wine?
I very much doubt the department that deals with these things is gonna be swamped, because there aren't actually all that many trans people. The government estimates there are between 200,000 and 500,000 folk in the UK who identify as transgender in a population of 66 million. That's somewhere around a half of one per cent. I don't have reputable statistics, but I'd bet that £5 fee there are way more ginger-haired people than trans.
Only 5,871 full GRCs have been granted since they were introduced in 2005. The numbers just don't seem to add up. Or maybe the vast majority of trans people don't give a stuff about how they're identified on a piece of paper. And what's the point, anyway? You can be damned sure there will be a record kept somewhere by somebody of the birth gender of the person in question, and they won't be shredding it to keep the trans community happy. Or will they...?
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story !