Trans Aid Cymru protest against Westminster’s gender reform block

Trans Aid Cymru launched a protest against the UK government this afternoon (21st February). They have put false birth certificates up on the main entrance to the UK Government building in Cardiff, which have phrases written on them such as ‘Drag Queen,’ and ‘gender bender’.

They are protesting against Westminster blocking the gender reform bill in Scotland, which would have made it easier for trans people to change their gender on legal documents. The Senedd supported the bill in Scotland, and have laid out plans to propose a similar bill in Wales. This is part of the Welsh Government’s plan to make Wales the safest LGBTQ+ country in Europe. However, the UK government would have the ability to block this.

Trans Aid Cymru are a charity in Wales that focuses on protecting and supporting trans and intersex people. It is run by trans people as a form of mutual aid support.

Keira Evans, one of the organisers of the protest, says “trans people don’t even have dignity in dying because if you pass away and you haven’t got safeguards in place, you can be buried under a name that isn’t yours and a gender you are not.”

She also wants Westminster to “change their mind and allow for self-identification on documents. They are so important.”

By drawing up the LGBTQ Action Plan, the Senedd is asking the UK government to have devolved powers over gender recognition, however it is unlikely that Westminster will grant this.

Keira said that the charity staged the protest today because, “it is really important that trans people are listened to, and the UK Government isn’t doing that currently.”

In response to the protest, Deputy Minister for Social Partnerships, Hannah Blythyn, said:

“Here in Wales, we stand with all our LGBTQ+ communities and believe the process for obtaining a gender recognition certificate should be simplified.

“The powers available in Scotland are not currently devolved to Wales. We are committed to seeking the devolution of these powers, as set out in our Programme for Government.”