- ‘Increasing restrictions on trans people’s ability to live authentically benefits no one.’
Some of the UK’s leading media brands – including Disney, Sky, the Financial Times and GSN – have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to support the trans community.
The letter is a reaction to Equality Minister Liz Truss indicating she will restrict trans people’s access to ‘single sex’ spaces. This could prevent trans people using public toilets and changing rooms, seriously restricting their day-to-day lives.
The letter calls on the government to push forward with modernising gender recognition.
In 2018, the UK promised to update the 2004 Gender Recognition Act (GRA). The changes would make it easier for trans people to change their legal gender.
However, the process has stalled for two years. Now, reports indicate the government may scrap plans for reform. Instead, media leaks suggest ministers hope that a ban on LGBT+ ‘conversion therapy’ will appease the community, while leaving trans rights behind.
Moreover, many trans people now fear Truss will use any reform – if it does go ahead – to make their lives harder. In particular, they are worried she appears to be listening to a fringe of anti-trans activists, rather than mainstream public opinion.
The open letter to Johnson notes:
‘It has been widely reported that the 2018 public consultation on GRA reform shows up to 70% of respondents agreed that it was appropriate to remove additional barriers to trans people being able to identify and live authentically.’
Ban on single sex spaces is bad for business
The letter goes on to outline why doing the right thing for trans and non-binary people is also best for business.
In particular, it calls on the government to update the GRA without any new restrictions on trans people using single sex spaces.
‘Failing to honour the government’s commitment to implement the consultation findings, and even increasing restrictions on trans people’s ability to live authentically, benefits no one.
‘It would mean changes to working environments that would make it hard for trans and non-binary people to focus on their work, preventing them from being able to travel safely, and inhibiting them from operating in society.
‘We hope that we can continue to be part of discussion about the future of trans equality in the UK, working together to make progress for the trans community and ensure our businesses maintain the diverse perspectives that help make us successful.’
The signatories include The Walt Disney Company, Warner Media, NBCUniversal, Sky, Financial Times, Discovery channel, Endemol and GSN. LGBT+ media network Inter Media UK coordinated the letter.