Gender Recognition Certificates

As activists in the trans community work to remove the “onerous” burdens placed on the community to legally “transition” I became curious about  the legal cases in this area.  Far from excessive gatekeeping the act is explicitly designed to be “permissive”.  Has this permissiveness gone too far? It seems there is a low bar to be, legally, redefined as a woman. If you are not convinced have a scroll through my blogs.  If you don’t want to take my word for it, fine, I would not believe me either! In every piece I  link to the legal records.  You can bypass my commentary and go straight to the Transcript

In brief no surgery, attempted rape convictions, being incarcerated for paedophilia are no bar to claiming “womanhood”! Remember that when someone tells you they “live as a woman”.   Interrogate that phrase. Its ubiquitous and meaningless.  Can I, a white woman, say I “live as a black woman”? Nope. So why is one form of appropriation Ok and the other is racist?

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Reading through these cases the  co-morbidities of mental health conditions is striking, even as they are dismissed as “co-incidental”. This has implications for treatment pathways and women’s safety.   The recurrence of the same  “experts” also shows how  “gender identity specialists” are influencing the judiciary.  The case I cover in this blog  can be read, in full, here 👉: Ms Jay October 2018

 

Ms Jay versus the Secretary of State was instigated  after three, unsuccessful,  applications for a Gender Recognition Certificate. Presiding was a single judge, Lord Justice Baker. This case, as the Judge points out,  was the first under new rules governing appeals against a GRC refusal.  Below is some background about the complainant.

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The clip below  includes details of the short marriages, a self-reported feeling of being in the wrong gender, from puberty, and a secret history of “cross-dressing”. {Neophytes should search “autogynephelia” at this stage}

56D0738B-6226-4098-97A3-4DA8F712AE4EIn addition to marrying three times, and fathering 7 children, the appellant has a criminal history. In 2011 they were sentenced to  eight years in prison. The judge makes it clear that the appeal is not concerned with the criminal offences. Also the papers detailing the offence were not included and, moreover, that this was not relevant to the “wider public debate”.  00181E95-A7DF-4290-81F7-027218981330For the terminally curious. Here is a brief allusion to the offence so you can judge for yourself whether it is “relevant”  96BB040F-6E1C-4A9D-AAB8-5DD575F533F6

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Some of the reasons the panel resisted awarding a GRC were; inconsistencies in the information supplied, the reversion to male names during  “transition” and a Gender Identity specialist  casting doubt on the  diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria. Ms Jay appears to have had more than one name change during the process and questions were raised about multiple addresses. Questions were also asked about misleading information supplied about the marriages and why redacted documents were submitted to the panel. Here we are told the applicant has lived full-time as a woman since December 2008. Yet driving licence and passport were renewed, in the male name, in 2013.  This a year after making  a statutory declaration, to a judge of their “intention to live full-time as female until death”.  (whatever living as a female means). The appellant had a name change in 2013 , whilst imprisoned, a  surname change and then another first name change in 2018. I hope someone is keeping track of all those names!  I echo the panel statement which questioned whether the applicant had something to hide!

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I sympathise with a panel presented with this applicant. A person whose Gender Dysphoria remitted enough to marry three times and father seven children. Someone who manages to  suppress their femininity sufficiently to amass explosives with intent to endanger life.  ( No! I hear your outrage. You are right. Women can also amass explosives with homicidal intent. Must learn to Lean In….Bad Feminist!)  Naturally, because of the name changes, I have found it impossible to trace the background to those offences. I can’t shed any light on the womanly way in which the crime was committed.  I am actually not clear whether tracing this history is even possible if a GRC holder does not reveal  past identities. It might even be an offence for me to try!

Warning!  Tone Switch..

Having justifiable concerns about the impact of these decisions, on women,  does not necessitate abandoning my humanity.  The clip below paints a sad picture of the claimant.  Nobody deserves to be vulnerable to sexual assault and I do wonder whether anyone is joining the dots between maladaptive coping mechanisms and prisoners undergoing transition.  However I would also love to hear from the trans-widows in this case. Those women are the really brave and stunning ones in all of these tales. They may tell a very different tale. 2F28F8FD-2106-45E7-97DB-507008963A49

The first application to the Gender Recognition panel appears to have commenced from within prison.  The medical evidence  submitted is from Dr James Barrett, a regular expert witness in these cases. He is generally very sympathetic to  Transgender Appellant’s.  His statement and comments are worth quoting in full. The history presented by the appellant is disputed and a concern focus on transition may be misdirected. A long history of psychiatric problems is noted. When even Dr Barrett thinks its a bad idea….its probably a bad idea!

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The prisoner is released in March 2015 and finds a new doctor. Unfortunately the release didn’t last long and they were recalled to prison in less than 3 months, Here a new doctor appears on the scene.  Dr Helen Webberley. Interestingly the panel note that they had not previously heard of Dr Webberley, in this field, which shows how recently they d£cid£d to cash in…oops I mean support such a vulnerable community:

29E1B514-D911-46AF-A6AB-6A3C75B641BAThe relationship with Webberley doesnt seem to persist and another doctor appears.  The next Doctor issues a report which is submitted, in redacted form, the the Gender Recognition Panel. This doctor again refers to Ms Jay’s personality disorder and maladaptive coping mechanisms but does diagnose Gender Dysphoria. The diagnosis leads to the recommended treatment (gender reassignment) to resolve the psychiatric issues.  Nobody  asks whether craving Gender  Reassignment is  another maladaptive coping mechanism. That would be transphobic, just in case  any of you are thinking that now!  Gender Dysphoria has been rebranded as an “identity” not a mental health issue, it’s now a slur to suggest this. As an aside this expert also recommends consideration is given to moving the prisoner to the female prison estate. In March 2016 the application for a GRC was turned down.   The doctor disappears from the case.

The prisoner is once again released in May 2016. Within 3 months he has found another doctor who provides this evidence Pay attention to the dates and the extensive treatment the patient has, we are told,  undertaken in three short months. ( As an aside Dr Pasterski appears in other cases I cover & most notably opposed a Local Education Authority when it raised concerns about 3 unrelated “trans kids” in a foster family).

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At this point the claimant becomes frustrated with the panel who have requested more clarification.  The claim “I have always been female” would seem to write three wives and 7 children out of history! 563B71A2-FCA2-4D20-841A-81EFDF8C68A7In August 2017 the Gender Recognition Panel again turned down the application. They expressed doubt about the credibility of the supporting evidence and , in particular that of Dr Pasteracki. They cast doubt on evidence supplied by the claimant.

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Inconsistent, unclear, vague, evasive. Nothing to see here

Some awareness of the condition of Autogynephilia, in the Transexual Community  would help the Judge here. Those who fit the profile for autogynephilia have a condition rooted in shame. Sufferers  tend to be steeped in denial. Here is a quote from  a Gender Identity Specialist:

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The Man Who Would Be Queen: Michael Bailey.

We have seen this in an earlier case I covered  GRC from Prison.  In that case a male claimed to be homosexual, his attempted rape was minimised on that basis. Yet, since leaving prison, they now self-identify as a lesbian.

Back to this case. In November 2017 the prisoner was again recalled to prison. The judge noted that the claimant was still in prison at the time of the hearing.

Thereafter yet another doctor enters the fray!  As the claimant is detained at her Majesty’s pleasure it is not clear how any assessments were carried out.  This one is in Sheffield.   Can’t change the opinion so change the Doctor!

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Now we get to the aim of the court case. It turns out they there is provision for a GRC to be issued by this one judge who can bypass the Gender Recognition Panel. 31988799-F7C6-4427-9E0A-A5B5095187B1The advocate for the claimant also shares this interesting nugget about GRC applications. Less than  5% are refused its designed to be “permissive not restrictive”.  766AD49B-81F0-439C-BF8F-7BDFA2AADA35 You have to admire the fancy footwork of the Legal team.   Ms McCann that the prisoner met the legal standard and that this Judge had the authority to  award the Gender Recognition Certificate himself.   Is it possible that some Judges are a tad vain and like to set precedents?  Does the advocate absolutely know this fact about male vanity? [Strike that: Snarky opinion! My bad]

Ms McCann reminds of that many of these decisions emanate from the  European Court of Human Rights. (If we Brexit do we lose Sexit? Sobering thought for a remainer such as myself!)

The right to self-determination includes “gender identification”.  Laywoman opinion: Your right to self-determination is not absolute. If it denies me the personal autonomy to recognise and relate to someone as the sex they are!

3C37B854-994F-46EE-B1FF-2F6A73CA3835To demand that I accede to your self-identity which may contradict my sex recognition skills springs from a totalitarian impulse. Chances are I will see your sex and if you walk behind me, late at night, I will react accordingly.

Furthermore can a person be “master” of his “ethnicity” as per the extract below? If I am objectively black can I identify out of racism? As a woman can I identify out of sexism?

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To cut a long story short the Judge was persuaded by these arguments.  He recognises that he is sitting alone, without assistance from a medical member of the panel but, in a Brave and Stunning decision, he decides to confer a Gender Recognition Certificate on Ms Jay, assuming that is still her name.   83E94CD1-4EA7-477D-B7AF-86ECC155A790

For those of you following this discussion just a reminder not to mention the elephant’s trunk in the room.  That would just be rude.

B8C6DD95-9648-494D-81E3-9FB1D3ACBEE3I will leave you with this question.   In making these determinations the Judge has to have regard to the individual’s Human Rights but also the wider rights of the Community.  Are we well served?

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4 thoughts on “Gender Recognition Certificates

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