by Debbie Hayton
Tuesday, 17
January 2023
Reaction
10:13

I don’t have a Gender Recognition Certificate — and I don’t want one

I don't require government-issued paperwork to prove that I am trans
by Debbie Hayton
Nicola Sturgeon at a Pride parade. Credit: Getty.

Alister Jack was entirely right to make a ‘Section 35’ order to block Nicola Sturgeon’s controversial Gender Recognition Reform Bill from proceeding to Royal Assent. As Secretary of State for Scotland, Jack invited the Scottish Government to bring an amended Bill back for reconsideration at Holyrood. He added, “I hope we can work together to find a constructive way forward that both respects devolution and the operation of UK Parliament legislation.”

The SNP will no doubt be outraged, but Sturgeon’s Bill would have impacted on reserved matters — including the UK-wide Equality Act and the administration of UK passports. From a purely legal aspect, that makes the bill ultra vires. It is on those grounds alone that Jack will have acted. Should the Scottish Government choose to waste taxpayers’ money on another judicial review there will be further discussion in the courts, but this is a debate in which the legal arguments are eclipsed by emotion and politics.


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The debate in Scotland was high on emotion. Trans people, we were told, are subjected to a demeaning and humiliating process just to be ourselves. That is nonsense, and suggests to me that those making those arguments do not understand the purpose of a Gender Recognition Certificate.

A GRC is not some sort of transgender licence, nor a certificate to prove that someone is transgender. I have no GRC, and I have no intention of getting one: I have no need to falsify a historical document of my birth in order to live in the present. What matters in real life are relationships — how we see ourselves and how other people see us — not government-issued paperwork. 

Rather, a GRC serves a single purpose: to change the sex recorded on that birth certificate. Since I cannot remember the last time anyone asked me to produce that piece of paper, it really has no impact on my life. But it would matter very much if I were ever asked to prove my sex. My birth certificate would confirm straight away that I am male. 

However, if I were to acquire a GRC then all my documents would indicate that I am female. Service providers would have no way of proving otherwise, unless I came clean. So, while the Equality Act might allow them to offer single-sex services, they have no way of distinguishing — on paper at least — between women and transwomen with a GRC.

Before Jack’s announcement, there had been talk of simply refusing to recognise Scottish GRCs outside Scotland. But that would simply not be possible. It’s not the GRC that matters but the birth certificate that has been altered as a result. Services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can hardly refuse to accept birth certificates issued in Scotland.

The Scottish Bill might not have created the problem, which goes back to the original Gender Recognition Act of 2004, but it magnifies it because self-declaration opens up the process to a much wider group of people, and to 16- and 17-year olds. Children born in Scotland but resident in another part of the UK could have acquired a GRC and then demanded to be enrolled in schools designated for the opposite sex. 

The impact of the Section 35 order will reverberate through Scottish politics, and the politics of the United Kingdom as a whole. The constitutional question remains unresolved, and this might seem like a golden opportunity for supporters of independence to mobilise the people of Scotland. How dare the Westminster government use its powers to block a clear resolution of the Scottish Parliament?

But polling suggests that the wider population of Scotland is not keen on self-ID. Research by YouGov for the Times found that two-thirds of Scottish voters opposed Sturgeon’s plans. Ultimately, the court that really matters for the Union is the court of public opinion. If the public decides that, actually, they are relieved to have a UK government that can — and will — step in to protect the rights of women and uphold the safeguarding of children, then the independence debate may finally be resolved. Just not in the way that the SNP hoped.

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Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
20 days ago

Another balanced and engaging viewpoint. Thank you. It does seem that the significance of changing one’s birth certificate on a whim, and whether 16 years olds fully appreciate the significance of this, has been overlooked. Arguments have focussed on the impact on women and girls, and perhaps rightly so; but consideration also needs to be given to what will happen to people who then change their mind or have buyer’s regret, as young people are wont to do. That the current Education Secretary thinks this is all fine beggars belief. Sunak should sack her.

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
20 days ago

One assumes that Keegan also agrees that under 18s can consent to sex too, as well as gender changes – turning safeguarding rules upside down in the schools she oversees. I think she must be a PIE (look it up) infiltrator.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
19 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Age of consent in the UK is 16, though I agree trans ops should not be allowed till 18.
And nothing should ever result in legal change of sex /gender. No new birth certificates, no access to the other sex’s areas etc.

AC Harper
AC Harper
20 days ago

I wonder when the trans people in Scotland will realise they have been used – as a provocative act against ‘the English’ and a distraction from the SNP’s failures?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
20 days ago
Reply to  AC Harper

A Scottish Green MSP just announced today that the rules should allow for 8 years olds to change gender; she also stated that no-one knows their sex without a test.

This level of stupid is what Scottish people voted into power.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Her claims are false from a developmental psychology and from a definitional perspective. As such I would say she is ignorant, technically.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
20 days ago

Good be precise about these matters, as you have, but I rather liked a term from one of Kathleen Stock’s articles on the subject: a whack-job.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Hmm. I imagine the test might go as follows:

Q. Do you know what sex you are?

A. Yes, now duck off and leave me alone.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
20 days ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Ms Chapman, I presume? If adults don’t know that foetuses have a sex then they shouldn’t be allowed out of the house on their own. Female foetuses are aborted in a number of countries because female children are more expensive than males. Yes, there is a rst at that level, but not once you are born unless your genitals are unusual… And that is found in a tiny % of the population.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago

What matters in real life are relationships — how we see ourselves and how other people see us …
I would rephrase as what matters in real life is what you are, and how you and others perceive you.
The question is, is there an expectation that others perceive you the way you perceive yourself? I have no problem with a person having their own self perception provided they do not expect me to take part in that self perception.
If people refuse to perceive a person the way they perceive themselves then they cannot claim they are being delegitimised or non affirmed, because that self perception is not a joint relationship that is shared by that person and the rest of humanity.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago

Thank you. Perception is crucial.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
20 days ago

Honestly, I think the great majority of people would prefer that trans activists of all descriptions showed the simple common courtesy of minding their own business?

Last edited 20 days ago by ben arnulfssen
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
20 days ago

Throughout history there have been individuals who have successfully passed as the opposite sex to their actual sex. Provided you appear the sex that you wish to be there is seldom any issue. The point of certificates is to provide a legal bludgeon for people who don’t wish to attempt to convincingly pass but want to insist on their “rights”. The Scottish Bill provides the perfect vehicle for bad actors of every sort to wield that bludgeon with minimal restrictions.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

What do you mean “successfully passed as”? Do you mean they are perceived and recognised as 100% the opposite sex?

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
20 days ago

I mean that quite a number of women in particular were accepted as men for many years and some men as women. Precisely how many had their doubts about the validity of their true sex we can’t know now but they appeared to have successfully been generally accepted as the sex they were not born to.

Janet G
Janet G
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

and some of the women who passed as men did so because they wanted to do work that only men were allowed to do e.g. being a medical practitioner.

Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I agree with much of what you say, but would add that the focus on ‘bad actors’ is a distraction. What I have seen from the objections raised by women’s groups, and also from what many people think, is that women do not want males in their protected spaces, full stop. This is expecting women and girls to tolerate undressing in front of males using their changing rooms and for said males to have a legal right to undress in front of them. Even individuals who are not necessarily bad actors will cause women to feel vulnerable and unwelcome in their changing rooms. The rights of women and girls to privacy are being sacrificed.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
20 days ago

I would imagine a man who looked womanly and used private cubicals to change in as many women prefer to do even among other women would cause no problem. The problem only arises when someone who is manifestly male and makes insufficient effort to hide his true sex demands the right to use a female changing room as he is a “woman”. The reference to bad actors encompasses both those who don’t manage to successfully pass themselves off as women in the theatrical sense and those who don’t even bother to try to pass themselves off convincingly but demand their “rights” to female changing rooms whether real women object or not.

Last edited 20 days ago by Jeremy Bray
Daria Angelova
Daria Angelova
20 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The problem is, who is going to be the judge on passing and looking womanly? Because there are males identifying as women who are utterly delusional about their ability to pass as a woman. And their conviction might be reinforced by the fact that many women would simply find it too uncomfortable to confront a male in a women’s space, especially in a one-on-one situation.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
19 days ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

You are probably right that plenty of such men rely on women being more amenable and non-confrontational. No doubt plenty of women would not want the additional risk of getting kickback from some of their own sex who support the whole ideology and tend to be as militant as any of the men.

Last edited 19 days ago by Jeremy Bray
Alphonse Pfarti
Alphonse Pfarti
16 days ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The bad actor term is a problem as it lacks precision. One may never pass off as a woman, but not necessarily be malevolent. The problem really is that the male sexual response has a strong visual component. This, I imagine, is what women wish to avoid. You never hear of women spying on men’s facilities or exposing themselves. Also, much like the 15 year old lad who has sneaked into a nightclub, the excitement can come from merely being there rather than any actions that you take. Without being a mind reader, how can you tell what any individual’s intentions are?

Sue Whorton
Sue Whorton
20 days ago

How is it that the Scottish Parliament consider sixteen year olds mature enough to transition but not mature enough to have full responsibility for their actions in committing criminal offences? I really want to know. I am not just making a point.

Mint Julip
Mint Julip
20 days ago
Reply to  Sue Whorton

I wondered that, too. Scotgov claims that those UNDER 25 should not receive adult sentences because “the brain doesn’t reach full development/emotional maturity until 25”.

Rob Nock
Rob Nock
20 days ago

This trans issue has lots of unpleasant consequences but that is not why it must be resisted and defeated. It does not matter if some men or women can pass as the opposite sex/gender. They are NOT that gender/sex and NEVER will be, whatever some paper says.

Gender recognition certificates and changed birth certificates are a lie and an attack on truth and reality.

They must be defeated along with all trans policies.

cara williams
cara williams
20 days ago
Reply to  Rob Nock

thank you for this. we have self identification as law in new zealand and it is a nightmare.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
19 days ago
Reply to  cara williams

Can you tell us more about it. They say everything is honky-dory in NZ.

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
20 days ago

At last. Thank you for a balanced and mature interpretation from the perspective of someone who considers themselves trans.

I notice there has been little mention about this decision in the MSM?
That said I watched an interview just prior to the decision by Kay Burley, talking the the chair of the Scottish NUS, who happens to be trans, and was allowed to chunter on uninterrupted and unchallenged about how the Scottish Bill was almost harmless, and how ignorant the UK government is.
At the end of the interview, Burley thanked him/her for their ‘ exprtise’ in the matter.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom Scott

Thank you. And I think that trans people deserve to be challenged in interview just like everyone else.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Dear Debbie Hayton,
If you will permit a personal but relevant question:

How do you manage with public lavatories, changing rooms etc.? And do you ever see the utility of a piece of paper that proves that you do indeed have some kind of official recognition for changing in the women’s changing room?

Or if you prefer to keep the personal out of it – how should that work in general, according to you?

Last edited 20 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
Una-Jane Winfield
Una-Jane Winfield
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In real life Debbie Hayton is slim, of medium height and has long hair. He does not look particularly male, nor particularly female. I don’t know how he manages public toilets, nor will I ask because he recognises that he is a biological man. That may answer your question.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Actually it does not answer my question – that is why I ask. A person with male anatomy but female dress and movements will cause or get a certain amount of trouble no matter which public lavatory he/she goes into. There are several solutions. One is to treat this person in all respects as a male (male loo). One to change the birth certificate and treat this person as female in all respects (female loo). But we could also decide that subject to suitable procedures and rites of transition some people, while still male, could be given access to female spaces in some contexts (like public loos. changing rooms and pronouns), but not others (like sports teams, prisons, and rape crisis centres). And there some kind of proof of status would be useful, much like a handicap parking badge..

I do not actually care about DH’s personal habits, looks or build, but he/she is a person uniquely qualified to have an opinion and willing to share it with us. I would love to hear what she thinks about the various options

Last edited 20 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

An interesting reply.
But we could also decide that subject to suitable procedures and rites of transition some people, while still male, could be given access to female spaces in some contexts (like public loos. changing rooms and pronouns), but not others (like sports teams, prisons, and rape crisis centres).
I think it is dependent on what you mean by suitable procedures and rites of transition because we are talking about male psychology and male physiology/anatomy regarding aggression and upper body strength. There is still the potential risk of serious physical assault because we are talking about the set of men, not a subset of men.

Last edited 20 days ago by michael stanwick
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

I am not a woman, but for loos and changing rooms I suspect it is as much about violation of intimacy and access to voyeurs as it is about fear of attack. After all women generally do not object to sharing lifts or late-night buses with men. Anyway, if we are talking about a limited number of people and the requirements for changing over are sufficiently demanding that people demonstrate a strong and irreversible determination to change, I suspect one might agree on some settlement. At least people could feel that the situation was under control, which they will not when we are talking about self-ID and opening all female spaces at once.

When I first came across the idea of sex changes, I remember thinking that if people were so desperate for it that they would have themselves surgically mutilated to fit, well you would at least have to take them seriously.

Last edited 20 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
Lindsay S
Lindsay S
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

There is definitely a vulnerability when sitting on a public loo with your knickers round your ankles that you don’t get on a late night bus. However, you can be sure that the woman on the late night bus is hoping that if approached by a sketchy stranger, other men may jump to her rescue, which might not be a guarantee in the ladies lav.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Yes. Safety, dignity and privacy.
Sex changes is a misnomer phrase. It is unfortunate but, IMO, now necessary to be very specific about what we mean because there is an assault of language at a fundamental grammatical level.
Taking individuals seriously is very relevant here, but it depends what the claims are they are making about themselves and the world. Because it is these claims – when it comes to gender ideology – that constitute the content of the dependent category of transgenderism.
So what does “changing over” mean?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Biologically we have just men and women.

Socially, as I see it, we have as different categories men and transwomen (biologically male), women and transmen (biologically female), and the distinction is defined by how they are classified by society, not how they themselves feel. The question then becomes who are socially accepted as belonging to either ‘men’ or ‘transwomen’, and what are the rights, obligations, expectations, entry conditions etc. that society puts on either. Finally ‘changing over’ is the process of moving from one (socially recognised) classification to another, e.g. men to trans women.

There is nothing in this saying that society has to consider or treat women and trans women differently, but in order to even discuss the question you have to have separate words for the two groups. Even those who insist most loudly that ‘transwomen are women’ would have to admit a conceptual distinction between those who have been recognised as women since birth and those who have not.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thanks for replying to my questions.
But I am forced to ask, what is a woman in the term ‘trans woman’?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Not sure I understand what you mean, but a trans woman is a person born male (biological sex) who is treated as a woman in social interactions, or some subset of them (gender).

There is a historical example in herder societies around Montenegro. Certain roles in society (as herdsman? flock owner?) were reserved for men. But a determined young woman (maybe in a family short of sons to take up the mantle), could take one of those roles. She would then dress as a man, behave as a man, have the rights and obligations of a man, and be treated as a man. She would be expected to live the part, and presumably would not be allowed male lovers, let alone pregnancies. But while no one would be in doubt that she was born female and had a female body, she was treated as a man in society.

Gender is a matter of social roles (where sex is a matter of biology). It is not impossible for society to decide that certain roles that are intended for females can be (partly?) open to males under certain specific conditions. The question is whether we want to, and to what extent.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thanks. That example is very interesting.
So a man is a set of social roles and not a person?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

A man is a person, but the class of men (that our man is considered to be a member of) could be defined by a set of social roles. The same could be said for a plumber.

It is tricky because the ‘natural’ situation is that the biology, the social role and the self-identification all go together, and that is the situation our words and concepts point to. When the assumption breaks down, it starts getting complicated. We can deal with it, though. Consider the word ‘mother’, which we all know what it means. Now consider gene mothers, surrogate mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, and stepmothers. They all fall under the territory of ‘mother’ in various ways, even though there is not a single thing they all have in common (apart from being female). We just accept that in practice ‘mother’ does not have a single clear definition taht holds in all cases, and in- or exclude the different people in a way that makes sense in the context.

I guess my point is that the world is too complex for a single, clear, all-or-nothing definition of who is a woman and who is not – and trying for one leads to unending fights. If we look at the individual question separately: Who should be using the woman’s loo? Who can join the women’s swimming team? Who gets to go to a woman’s prison? Who can join an all-womans shortlist, or the women’s boardroom quota? and stop discussing who is a ‘real’ woman, maybe we could get further.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
19 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Thanks for the reply. My view is a conventional one in that a man or woman is an adult version of a human male or female. Similarly for boy or girl being the juvenile form.
Even though the world may be considered complex I do not consider that infers the concept of woman is complex.
Hence I do not refer to man or woman as social roles. There are other words that exist for that purpose.
The mother example is reminiscent of a similar example in a very cogent discussion given by Matt Walsh of The Daily Wire.
As per his discussion, the various manifestations of ‘mother’ describe the relationships of women to their children – either immature or mature. So mother is a role that women fulfill and woman is an embodied being with particular material properties.And there are many words that are used to describe the roles and relationships women engage in.
I won’t be participating again, so thanks for the collegiate discussion.

Last edited 19 days ago by michael stanwick
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
19 days ago

My thanks as well.

I would actually agree that
woman = adult, human female
is the right definition. It is just that this skips over the question that actually matters, just like
trans women are women
does. What we need to consider is whether we should allow some people who are not adult human females access to the changing rooms, sports teams, prisons, social and political structures, … that have hitherto been reserved to women. I’d say no to most and maybe yes to some of those, but whatever the right answer is, arguing about the definition of ‘woman’ is not the way to get it.

Last edited 19 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
Daria Angelova
Daria Angelova
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

It’s an interesting example, however it refers to a society with very strict gender roles where women are explicitly forbidden to perform roles reserved for men.
In our modern Western society, I’m not sure which social roles are regarded as strictly open to one sex and forbidden to another?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

You are right – none. But it still shows how one could allow some men into some female roles and spaces without having to pretend that they had always been women or that you had to treat them as indistinguishable from women in all possible respects.

Daria Angelova
Daria Angelova
19 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I’m not sure how you can create a workable system where some men identifying as women are allowed into women’s spaces while others are forbidden. In the end it all comes down to passing, and like I mentioned in the post above, who is going to be the judge of whether someone who is male passes as a woman? And how much of “passing” is really about women being afraid to speak up and challenge a man in their space?
And again, I’m not sure what you mean when you refer to “female roles”. What are the “female roles” in our modern Western society?

Last edited 19 days ago by Daria Angelova
Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
19 days ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

I think it could be done – if we want to. Any society has had a number of social roles, child, maid, youth, wife, mother, man,, … with conditions and rites of transition controlling who fit in what slot and how you canmove from one to the other. Currently you need a diagnosis of gender dysphoria, two years of living in your new gender, and the OK of a commission, I believe. to ‘change your sex’. That serves to limit it to people who are serious about changing and staying changed, and to keep the numbers down. The point is not who identifies as a woman – the point is who is accepted by society as having fulfilled the conditions and being fit to enter a female changing room.

As for ‘female role’, we do not have that many fixed rules, no. But there are pronouns, and we interact differently in practice with men and women. Then there are male and female spaces, of various kinds, shortlists and anti-discrimination legislation, … If there was no difference between how men and women were treated, there would be no transsexuals – we would all just be homo sapiens.

Daria Angelova
Daria Angelova
19 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Well what do we mean by “society”? Who exactly was consulted when a very small number of people made up the rules about who can enter a women’s changing room?
Personally, I don’t care if someone had a diagnosis of dysphoria and got approved by a commission. I also don’t care if someone had a hormone treatment and bottom surgery. If you’re obviously male, I don’t want to undress in front of you in a changing room, full stop, regardless of whether you have a full set of male genitalia.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
18 days ago
Reply to  Daria Angelova

That is fair enough. And the world would be much simpler if there were no transsexuals – why do we need them anyway? The thing is, they do exist, and they are not going to disappear to make the world simpler for the rest of us. So the remaining question is who needs to bear the burden of adjusting to whom. The Scottish approach is to give the trans side all they want and force the rest of us to do the adapting, and I am against that. Your approach would be to yield nothing (on this particular point at least) and let the trans side do all the adapting. I do not think that is necessarily unreasonable – there are many more of us – but I am looking for ways one could spread the discomfort around a bit and make some kind of accommodation where each side gets at least some recognition of their position.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago

Deleted – superseded.

Last edited 20 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
MJ Reid
MJ Reid
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I object to having biological males in, for example, female toilets and changing rooms even if they present as women. Why? In King’s Cross Station toilets, I was assaulted by 5 “drag Queens” because I asked to wash my hands. When I complained to the police I was told “they are women”! No, they were men… The other was in a store in Oxford St. A man presenting as a woman was in the changing rooms, took out his tackle and played with it because “it stops me putting on tight trousers when it’s hard!” Shop assistant insisted that he was a she and had every right to behave in that way!!

Self ID would let more men think they have the right to behave in these ways in female spaces because their birth certificate which some do use as evidence of age etc would say they are female!!!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
19 days ago
Reply to  MJ Reid

I agree with you on self-ID – I am against that too. Hopefully a sufficiently demanding process would at least limit the numbers and keep the – literally – wankers out.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
20 days ago

Interesting. From his face and voice I would identify him as male.

There is the proper noun, for example ‘John’. Proper nouns are labels. But when John calls himself Jane, is he attempting to become herself – to position himself within a sex category, that of women? If so, that is a problem because the proper noun has ceased to be a mere label, and is now being used as a classifier – a common noun. And in doing so, ‘woman’ has ceased to be a common noun and has now become a proper noun – a label (since it has no coherent singular meaning).

This is changing the meaning of language at the grammatical level such that we cannot communicate using shared language with codified meanings.

I am coming to the conclusion that the claims of transgender ideology are a fundamental denial of the three laws of thought.

Last edited 20 days ago by michael stanwick
Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Do you carry your birth certificate with you when you go to the loo? Their point is that a bit of paper is irrelevant.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
20 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

If I looked 14 and wanted to order a drink in a bar – or looked like a bum but needed to get into judge’s chambers – then, yes, I might want to carry some kind of authorization. Probably not a birth certificate, to be sure.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

No. We all know how to distinguish men from women. We have always been able to do this, since long before birth certificates came about.
But if someone looks like a man, sounds like a man, walks like a man but can produce a female birth certificate then a service provider will have to override their own perception.
That is the problem.

MJ Reid
MJ Reid
20 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I have a couple of transsexual women who I call friends, one is an aunt in our family. They use the accessible toilets ( they each have a physical disability) both have radar keys. They buy clothes, take them home and try them on then take back the ones that don’t fit… Just like the rest of us. There may be an issue if they ever need inpatient treatment in hospital but single rooms work in mixed wards.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I would like to see more separate spaces for those who do not wish to share communal facilities with their own sex.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
18 days ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

Thanks. That does clarify things for me.
If you ever write a more detailed account on how you would like things to be organised, from pronouns to access to documents to transition, … I would read it with great interest and probably quote from it.

Last edited 18 days ago by Rasmus Fogh
Laura Robinson
Laura Robinson
15 days ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

I have for many years wondered how fathers take their young daughters to the swimming baths. Somewhere such as centre parcs has entirely cubicles but still splits down sexual lines. Changing rooms have been outdated for decades.

While doing a course in a new building at my local college, all toilets came off an open unisex corridor, marked male female or both. All cubicles were separated by walls and doors to the floor making them completely private. The open corridor sinks discouraged lingering and vaping which i know to be prevalent at most secondary schools. Girls can use toilets marked male if they are in a hurry. They all seemed remarkably clean and could be supervised by teachers nearby.

My 15 year old nephew confided that none of the boys would take a dump at his comprehensive due to it being unsanitary and the fear of being ribbed for it. Surely there are solutions but its case of funding.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
20 days ago

Debbie, thanks for another considered, calm assessment of the political lunacy. I really enjoy your writing – please keep on!

The most sinister aspect of what’s proposed, to me, is the permanent alteration of birth details. As a parallel, I would offer up my status as an adoptee. My “original birth certificate” is in fact a “Certificate of an entry in the adopted children’s register”, though my actual certificate of registration at birth is still on record too, as are all Court records. And of course I’m fine with that. It’s a multi-part historical record of how I came by the name I carry and is thoroughly transparent without compromising anyone’s privacy or sensibilities.

Why then is it so essential to alter the birth records of a person who’s transitioned? That would hardly speak of a deep and abiding confidence.

I recall a telling exchange in David Putnam’s movie “The Mission”, between Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro, Irons being De Niro’s confessor. After much pleading for absolution from De Niro, Irons finally opines: “If you’re right, you don’t need my blessing, and if you’re wrong, my blessing won’t make any difference.”

And so we stand up for what we see as necessary and right – in the full and adult knowledge of what that implies. No piece of paper nor any single opinion can change anything in any meaningful way: the world will decide. Though it should be pointed out that showing some guts usually garners a lot more support that whiney victimhood.

I’ve noticed, from your own courage and wry humour, that you chose courage – hence my respect and admiration for you. Go well.

Last edited 20 days ago by Richard Parker
Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

The parallel with adoption is interesting. I think that had a GRC done something like an adoption order then there would be far fewer problems with the GRA. But privacy was one of the reasons for passing the GRA in 2004 (the other was marriage). The legal fiction created by a GRC is protected by a privacy clause in the Act (s22)
https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/7/section/22

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
18 days ago
Reply to  Debbie Hayton

That’s really interesting – many thanks for the link. An example, then, of privacy being employed as the catch-all, trump-all super injunction (yet again).

I absolutely agree that a person has a right to a private life; of course we all know that politics at large usually revolves around the tension between privacy or other individual interests and societal obligation. Balance is the key and the debate to be had.

It seems that obligation to those around us is elided by this legislation and the world view it represents, the debate thus closed by fiat. That’s clearly not a recipe for harmonious coexistence – which of course is the issue we all run with this risky tomfoolery.

Thank you, as always, for maintaining a dignified stand.

Last edited 18 days ago by Richard Parker
Richard Parker
Richard Parker
18 days ago
Reply to  Richard Parker

(Removed – meant as a reply to Debbie! Apologies for clumsiness…)

Last edited 18 days ago by Richard Parker
Valerie Taplin
Valerie Taplin
19 days ago

If I had a grc saying I am a woman, but also had male genitalia, would I be allowed to walk around naked in the changing rooms of my local gym with all the other naked ladies?

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Valerie Taplin

You would – in law – be a woman who just happened to have male genitalia.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
20 days ago

Debbie, out of curiosity, why is your Twitter account locked from time to time? I have now learnt that you do it routinely, but I am puzzled 😉

Christina Dalcher
Christina Dalcher
20 days ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Plenty of us do it to avoid pile-ons (a risk of voicing our dissent with respect to the synthetic sex industry free-for-all). Even the most rational people can only take so much name-calling and nastiness.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
20 days ago

I don’t think that is the case. I had thought of that, but I could not see a correlation between, say, an article and the locking of the twitter account. I actually thought that Debbie might be away or on holiday when that happens, but that doesn’t seem the case either.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

It’s personal and family reasons. I do face some “robust opposition” on-line and it can impact on real life.

Debbie Hayton
Debbie Hayton
19 days ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Personal and family reasons. Hopefully it will be now able to stay open for the time being