To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the United Kingdom, the Minister for Women and Equalities, Justine Greening, has launched a trans-friendly initiative. The government is going to make it a snap of the fingers to change your gender on your birth certificate. 

Up to now, it was already possible to change your sex in government records, but it was a laborious process. A doctor had to diagnose gender dysphoria and the person had to be living in the chosen gender for two years. Under the new legislation all that will be needed, it seems, will be a rubber stamp. No hormones; no surgery; just an uncomfortable feeling inside that things are not quite right. 

“What we want to try to do is streamline the process, make it easier, demedicalise it and make it less intrusive,” says Ms Greening.  A study with her proposals will be published later in the years. 

She recently told the media that society needed “to “stop treating people changing their gender as if it’s some medical problem that needs fixing. Actually this is a choice that people are making and we need to try and make that choice more straightforward than it already is.”

Ms Greening views this step as a natural evolution of LGBT equality. In 1967, the British Parliament passed the Sexual Offences Act; in 2013, it legalised same-sex marriage; in 2017, it passed Turing’s Law, posthumously pardoning men found guilty of the abolished offences. And the recent election saw the highest number of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual MPs voted into Parliament.

But as a lesbian who outed herself last year on Twitter, Ms Greening ought to be aware that T-friendly policies are not necessarily L and G-friendly policies. Making it easy for people to change their gender could be used to denigrate and stigmatise the Ls and the Gs. Allowing people to choose their gender makes biological sex irrelevant,  erasing the “homo” from homosexuality. Ls and Gs will be irrelevant. All that will be left is ever-changing, fluid sexual preferences. This is not another step, but a whole new paradigm.

And has Ms Greening studied how to keep people from taking advantage of the new rules for their own advantage?

  • Will “transwomen” prisoners be incarcerated with women prisoners?
  • Will “transwomen” be able to take jobs reserved for women?
  • Will “transwomen” students be able to take scholarships reserved for women?
  • Will “transwomen” athletes be able to take compete in sports reserved for women?
  • Will “transwomen” soldiers be able to avoid front-line duties?

Where will it end?

For millennia the complementary categories of male and female were fixed, not arbitrarily, but based on the inescapable facts of biology. And not just the sexual organs, but the psychology, the wiring of the brain, and the DNA of every cell in the body. Personal and social expectations were based on this fundamental binary relationship. But if M and F dissolve into an X on a birth certificate, and then into an X1 and an X2 and an X3 and an X4 and an X5 and so on according to a person’s dysphoria or euphoria, none of the old categories of sexuality and kinship will deserve any special recognition.

This is not an evolution; it is a revolution, Ms Greening.

Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet. 

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is the editor of MercatorNet. He lives in Sydney, Australia.