BAGIS

BAGIS

BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF GENDER IDENTITY SPECIALISTS

British Association of Gender Identity Specialists

Current statements

Initial BAGIS statement on the Cass Review

April 2024

We are aware that this week’s release of the Cass review raises many questions and uncertainties for people accessing or wanting to access gender identity services, as well as for the staff working in those services.

We also know that this is likely to be a source of significant distress and worry.

On first glance, BAGIS Council are deeply troubled by some of the content of the Cass Review and the potential impact thereof. We will be considering this lengthy document carefully, and in detail, before offering a comprehensive response to its recommendations and before making any relevant observations regarding the process that has underpinned them.

A link to the document is here: https://cass.independent-review.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/04/CassReview_Final.pdf

Meanwhile, the following resources may be helpful sources of support for people experiencing distress as a result of the report:

–          Gendered Intelligence: https://genderedintelligence.co.uk/services/66-support-line

–          Mermaids: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/contact-us/

–          GIRES: https://www.gires.org.uk/

 

 

BAGIS statement on the UK government’s trans guidance for schools

February 2024

BAGIS is deeply concerned that the UK government’s non-statutory guidance for England’s schools on youth transition discounts the voices of trans young people, and will exacerbate the distress and challenges they face by removing opportunities for gender exploration, congruency and social transition.

The guidance, originally to ‘support trans pupils’, now refuses to describe children as ‘transgender’, and seeks to create barriers for young people who need to talk to teachers about their gender by urging schools to resist pupils’ requests for name, pronoun or uniform adjustment.  The guidance implies that addressing the needs of the trans young person is likely to be inconvenient to or in conflict with the wider school community, whilst no measure is put forward as to what constitutes reasonable impact on the life of the school.

The Equality of Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has stated that not referring to a transitioning student by their chosen name and pronoun is discriminatory. Neither the EHRC nor gender specialists from BAGIS were consulted by the UK government in drafting the guidance; the perspective of trans young people was completely ignored.

Research consistently shows the positive impact that gender-affirming care and supportive environments have on the well-being of trans children and adolescents. An affirming environment is one which balances the diverse needs of all children, ensuring a supportive and nurturing educational experience for every child, irrespective of gender, race, religion, sexuality, disability and socio economic background in order to thrive.

However, the guideline’s stance on school admissions, single-sex spaces, and sports curriculum, echo the government’s underlying deeply sceptical, if hostile, position that gender diversity is a matter of ‘gender identity ideology’. This is at odds with accepted positions put forward by the World Health Organisation, and expert clinicians in the NHS who are experienced in working with transgender people.

Restricting the permission and opportunity for pupils to explore and express their gender identity at school, risks creating an unsupportive environment, founded on lack of trust and institutional transphobia, potentially causing long-term damage to young people’s sense of self. BAGIS concords with the fundamental principle that parents need to be involved in discussions and decisions about their children’s lives. However, the guidance fails to address the significant risk of harm to the self-esteem, mental and even physical health of trans young people in the event that requests to socially transition and ‘come out’ are not met with understanding, sensitivity and support.

The guidance aligns with ‘interim conclusions’ from the Cass Review, that views social transition as potentially problematic. BAGIS sees safety for the young person as paramount. In so doing, we advocate for a balanced approach that centres the well-being and inclusion of all young people, and the best interests of trans young people.

BAGIS welcomes the 12-week consultation on the guidelines ending in March 2024. We call upon the government to engage in open and critical dialogue, to listen to the views and expertise of international gender specialists and trans young people in developing guidelines which enable schools to include, affirm and support all children and allow every pupil to prosper.

 

December 2023

BAGIS strongly condemns the statement made by Kemi Badenoch, Minister for Women and Equalities in the House of  Commons on December 7th, 2023. Her claim about an “epidemic of young gay children being told that they are trans” lacks any evidence and is deeply concerning. Such rhetoric from a government minister can be harmful to the mental health of young  adolescent trans and non-binary children.

Gender affirming care refers to the social, psychological and medical support given for a person to be recognized in their gender.

Research consistently demonstrates the positive impact of gender-affirming care on the mental health and overall well-being of gender-diverse, transgender, and non-binary children and  adolescents. Numerous studies have shown that supportive and affirming environments contribute to  better mental health outcomes, lower rates of depression, anxiety and suicidality, and improved overall quality of life for individuals exploring their gender identity.

Furthermore, characterizing gender-affirming care as “a new form of conversion therapy” is not only unfounded but also misleading. Conversion therapy aims to change a person’s gender identity and gender expression to become more congruent with the sex they were assigned at birth, and/or their sexual orientation to heterosexual. Conversion therapy is widely discredited by medical and mental health professionals, as it has been shown to cause severe psychological harm. Comparing gender-affirming care to such practices disseminates   misinformation that may ultimately narrow access to this care for those who need it.

It is crucial for the government to rely on evidence-based information and consult with experts in the field when addressing issues related to gender identity and the well-being of trans and non-binary individuals. Creating a supportive and inclusive environment for these young individuals is essential for their mental health and overall development.

The link to this statement is here BAGIS statement on comments by the Minister for Women and Equalities December 2023

Please use the link if you would like to disseminate this statement via social media.

6th October 2023

The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists (BAGIS) asserts the rights of all people who are eligible to receive healthcare in Britain, to do so without fear of discrimination and hatred. Recent attempts in British society to remove the access of gender diverse people to their equal right to healthcare appear to be solely in the pursuit of political gain. The BAGIS condemns the use of gender diverse people to further political careers and agendas.

We call on healthcare workers to continue to provide high quality care as is their duty and, almost without exception, also their desire. We offer our allegiance to our gender diverse service users, colleagues and friends in healthcare and our assurance that we see the harm that the recent political statements have caused. We call on politicians of all parties to seek to protect the human rights of gender diverse people and speak out against those who seek to spread transphobic bigotry and hate within our healthcare system.

The link to this statement is here BAGIS statement on equal access to healthcare

Please use the link if you would like to disseminate this statement via social media.

BAGIS Meetings and Events

 

BAGIS AGM 2023

The BAGIS 2023 AGM was held at 14:45 on Friday 6th October 2023 at Chapter House Cardiff.

Papers for the AGM are posted here – note that you need to be logged on as a member to see them

BAGIS 8th Symposium

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

5th & 6th October 2023 

Lifespan Care

Thank you for making this year’s symposium such a success.  Don’t forget to fill in your feedback forms.  See you next year! Watch this space for details

Queries – BAGIS secretary.

BAGIS History and Mission Statement

The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists (BAGIS) was founded in 2014 for the purpose of promoting clinical research and the exchange of knowledge of gender dysphoria and transgender health. It is an association and network of healthcare professionals, from a wide range of disciplines, committed to promoting excellence in clinical practice, clinical research, training and education in the field of healthcare for trans and non-binary people. The Association encourages and fosters the highest standards of practice amongst its members, based upon the best available evidence, and advocates the adoption of similar standards amongst all health professionals in the British Isles.

The purposes of BAGIS are:

  • to establish a professional association to encourage the highest standards of practice, education, and research in the field of transgender health
  • to promote cooperation between health professionals, academics and allied professionals working in the field of transgender health throughout the British Isles
  • to promote excellence in transgender healthcare by disseminating scientific knowledge and evidence-based clinical practice through a peer network
  • to engage with trans and non-binary people in the promotion of excellence in transgender healthcare.