British Association of Gender Identity Specialists

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.

BAGIS Statement regarding the Judicial Review 1st December 2020

The British Association of Gender Identity Specialists council wishes to express disappointment in the legal judgment which denies the competence and capacity of young transgender people under 18 years of age to consent to hormonal intervention as part of their gender development. It makes a distinction between the self-understanding, bodily autonomy and rights of young trans people and the self-understanding, bodily autonomy and rights of young people who are not transgender. The verdict seems to invalidate the lived experience of trans people and privileges a cisgender outcome over a transgender outcome. The BAGIS is opposed to such discrimination, whenever and wherever it arises. 

The health and wellbeing of trans people is of the highest priority to the BAGIS. We are deeply concerned about the effect the judgement may have on trans people and their lives. The Council has already been made aware of the considerable psychological distress expressed by members of trans youth communities which has arisen as a direct result of the judgement. We implore the government through NHS England and NHS Wales to commit to making support available to children and young people to manage their distress about the outcome of this ruling. 

We await further information regarding appeal of the Judicial Review, and the impact the recent verdict will have on clinical practice and young trans people. In the meantime, the BAGIS council continues to hold clinicians working in the field of trans healthcare across the British Isles in the highest regard and has every confidence in the competence of those specialists working with trans youth. In particular, we wish to express our solidarity and support for those specialists working with trans youth in England and Wales at an extremely challenging time. 

President Update: Matthew Mills

The COVID-19 vaccination roll out gathers momentum and there begins to be a clearer road map out of national and global lockdown, where we may re-experience the pleasure of human touch and social closeness that has been painfully absent and much lost.

NHS and independent sector services throughout the British Isles continue to adapt to restrictions by offering blended in-person and remote consultations for trans and gender diverse people.

The BAGIS continues to provide a place of learning through a network of reflexive health professionals and academics in trans health care in the British Isles. The Association is committed to promoting the highest standards in clinical practice and research that creates respectful services of excellence for trans and non-binary people. This can only arise from a greater collaboration and understanding of lived experience expertise and need. We acknowledge that there are many bridges to build, and stand firm to support the lives and rights of trans and non-binary people in these divisive and challenging times. The BAGIS holds a firm trajectory to a period when division shifts through understanding to celebration of human diversity.

Imminently, the BAGIS will hold our 6th Scientific Symposium: Intersections, Experience and Evidence. This will be delivered as a digital event on 18th and 19th March 2021.

Under my watch, the BAGIS Council continues to progress these significant work streams:

  • a national dialogue and discussion of clinical and service responses to COVID-19 and what adaptations may be beneficial post restrictions;
  • a position statement on the Judicial Review 1st December 2020, and ongoing monitoring and response;
  • draft Clinical Principles pertinent to working in the British Isles for member consultation in autumn 2021;
  • increased representation of and collaboration with the trans and non-binary community in all work streams;
  • co-option of new members to Council from all parts of the British Isles;
  • ongoing data collection to support fair processes in fertility preservation for trans and non-binary people