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BAGIS statement on comments by the Minister for Women and Equalities 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.
BAGIS statement on equal access to healthcare in Britain 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.
BAGIS submission to the consultation on the NHSE interim service specification for specialist gender dysphoria services for children and young people
BAGIS wishes to express concern regarding the interim service specification for specialist gender dysphoria services for children and young people. The proposed approach is unnecessarily paternalistic and interrogative; with a clinical pathway which fails to acknowledge the fact that gender diversity is simply a normal part of human diversity. While care must be taken to ensure young people receive appropriate treatment, the proposed specification focuses instead on simple gatekeeping without due regard to the healthcare needs and human rights of the young people it seeks to serve. In no cases should social transition require medical approval. The language used is reductive and pathologizing, compulsory enrolment onto clinical trials unethical, and punishment for families seeking help elsewhere set to further isolate this already minoratized group. BAGIS views the proposed situation for gender identity services for young people in England and Wales as a worrying departure from international best practice and calls on NHS England and the department of Health to develop service specifications which are evidence based and which are co-produced with young gender diverse people and their carers/families at every stage and as per WPATH and Endocrine Society guidelines.