Prosecutors are considering pressing charges against a transgender woman who used the women’s public restroom in Osaka, Japan.
According to Osaka Prefectural Police, a customer complained that a transgender woman in her 40s was using the women’s room at a commercial facility last May. The customer told employees that she couldn’t use the restroom out of “fear” because “a man wearing women’s clothes was using it” and the employees called the police.
On Thursday, the case was referred to prosecutors, who could charge the transgender woman with trespassing. Police say that the woman’s ID still has a male gender marker, which means that she was not legally allowed to use the women’s room.
The Osaka Prefectural Police is not seeking indictment in the case, leaving the decision of whether to pursue charges to prosecutors.
Most transgender people in Japan “pay attention when they use toilets at public facilities so they can stay out of trouble,” Mikiya Nakatsuka, president of the Japanese Society of Gender Identity Disorder and Okayama University professor of health sciences, told the Japan Times.
“I am worried that if this single case draws attention, it might lead to more prejudice and discrimination against them.”
Chukyo University professor Takashi Kazama said that restrooms shouldn’t be separated by gender.
“Gender identity is invisible, so people cannot help but judge from a person’s appearance on the appropriateness of the use of toilets separated by genders,” they said.
Correcting the gender marker on legal documents in Japan remains difficult. A 2003 law requires a person to be over 22-years-old, be unmarried, prove they have been sterilized, and not have children under the age of 20.
In 2019, the Supreme Court of Japan upheld that law, saying that the government had an interest in limiting societal “confusion” and “abrupt changes.”
Only 7000 transgender people in the country with a population of over 125 million had their gender legally recognized between 2003 and 2019.
The Times has been forced to issue two corrections within two days after publishing ‘anti-trans’ misinformation.
On Tuesday (4 January), the newspaper finally offered a correction to a story on inclusive language around birthing which it published almost a year ago.
In February, 2021, a Times article claimed that in new guidance, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust was telling staff in perinatal services to “say ‘chestfeeding’ instead of ‘breastfeeding’”, and to “replace the term ‘mother’”.
A quick glance through the trust’s guidance proves this claim to be categorically untrue, as it clearly states that it will be “taking a gender-additive approach”, which it says means “using gender-neutral language alongside the language of motherhood”.
However, it took a ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to convince The Times to admit the inaccuracy of its story.
In its correction, the newspaper said: “Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust’s guidance did not advocate the universal substitution of the term ‘breastfeeding’ with ‘chestfeeding’, rather that the term ‘breast/chestfeeding’ should be used instead in the trust’s literature and communications.”
With no evidence, The Times claimed that hundreds of ‘male-bodied sex offenders were classified as women’ in recent years
Just a day later, on Wednesday (6 January), The Times was forced to print another correction relating to trans people.
Officials with the U.N. Refugee Agency in Central America and Mexico say they remain committed to helping LGBTQ asylum seekers and migrants in the region.
UNHCR Guatemala Representative Besem Obenson told the Washington Blade during an interview at her Guatemala City office last September that she and her colleagues work with Asociación Lambda and other Guatemalan NGOs to provide LGBTQ asylum seekers with access to LGBTQ-friendly shelters, psychosocial care and other programs once they identify themselves as LGBTQ. Obenson said UNHCR also works with the Guatemalan government to improve the way it responds to an asylum seeker with an ID document that does not correspond to their gender presentation.
“Our role … is to strengthen the government’s response to refugees and asylum seekers,” said Obenson.
Rafael Zavala, a senior UNHCR official in El Salvador, echoed Obenson when he spoke with the Blade at UNHCR’s office in San Salvador, the Salvadoran capital, last July.
Zavala noted UNHCR has a formal partnership with COMCAVIS Trans, a Salvadoran transgender rights group. Zavala said UNHCR also works with two other LGBTQ groups — Aspidh Arcoíris Trans and Diké LGBTI+ — in a less official capacity.
“What we do is work at the community level to strengthen their role in communities,” Zavala told the Blade. “We also build for them safe spaces (to accept internally displaced people, migrants and deportees who are LGBTQ) and also find spaces where they can receive services, attention and legal assistance.”
Anti-LGBTQ violence among migration ‘root causes’
Vice President Kamala Harris and others have acknowledged anti-LGBTQ violence is one of the “root causes” of migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle that includes El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The Mexican Commission on Refugee Aid (COMAR) on Monday reported 27.7 percent of the 131,448 people who asked for asylum in Mexico in 2021 were Honduran.
The Justice Department notes 85,391 people asked for asylum in the U.S. in the 2021 fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. More than twice as many people asked for asylum in the U.S. during the 2020 fiscal year, which began before the pandemic.
The Justice Department statistics indicate 10 percent of the 8,679 Guatemalans, 11 percent of the 5,464 Hondurans and 14 percent of the 8,030 Salvadorans who applied for asylum in the U.S. during the 2021 fiscal year won their cases. Neither the Justice Department nor COMAR specify the asylum seekers’ sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Biden administration last February began to allow into the U.S. asylum seekers who the previous White House forced to pursue their cases in Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols program. The Biden administration has sought to end MPP, but a federal appeals court last month blocked this effort.
Title 42, a Center for Disease Control and Prevention rule that closed the Southern border to most asylum seekers and migrants because of the pandemic, remains in place.
UNHCR non-discrimination policy includes sexual orientation, gender identity
UNHCR Senior Protection Officer Sofia Cardona last summer during an interview at UNHCR’s Mexico City office acknowledged that identifying asylum seekers who are LGBTQ is a challenge. Cardona and other UNHCR representatives with whom the Blade spoke for this story referred to the agency’s 2018 non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity and specifically recognizes LGBTQ asylum seekers.
“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons face complex challenges, threats and barriers and are often exposed to discrimination, abuse, prejudice and violence due to their sex, sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” notes the policy. “This is often severely compounded in situations of displacement, where the nature of the discrimination they encounter can be particularly virulent, their isolation from family and community profound and the harm inflicted on them severe.”
The policy states “diversity refers to different values, attitudes, cultural perspectives, beliefs, ethnicities, nationalities, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, health, social and economic status, skills and other specific personal characteristics.”
“Diversity characteristics vary from person to person and intersect, making each person unique,” it reads. “These differences must be recognized, understood, respected and valued by UNHCR in each context and operation in order to address effectively the needs of all persons of concern. Respecting diversity means recognizing and valuing those differences and creating a protective, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment where everyone’s rights are upheld.”
Cardona noted UNHCR staff and representatives of NGOs and governments with which it works regularly attend LGBTQ sensitivity trainings. Topics include ways to determine whether an asylum seeker is LGBTQ without forcing them to out themselves.
“You can’t force a disclosure,” said Cardona. “You can neve directly ask somebody, so, are you gay? Are you transgender? It’s incorrect because you may put people at risk, so it’s a very thin line of you can never force a disclosure of someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation, but you must signify to somebody that you are a safe space to receive that disclosure.”
Cardona said UNHCR representatives can ask an asylum seeker what their name is or disclose to them that they are “de la diversidad” or “from a diverse background.”
“You never begin an interview assuming anything by the way a person looks because in forced displacement gender expression is unlikely to match up to gender identity,” Cardona told the Blade. “So you need to understand that you may very well have conversations with a trans man who is wearing makeup and a dress, and you may very well be having a conversation with a trans woman who has a beard because that is how they are protecting themselves in a sphere of forced displacement.”
Cardona also noted UNHCR staff wear buttons with slogans that include “en seguridad” or “espacio libre de discriminación,” which translates into “in safety” or “discrimination-free space” respectively. Both Cardona and Zavala were wearing such buttons when they spoke with the Blade.
“We try very, very, very hard to work with our staff and also our partners … so they have their capacity strengthened in LGBTI rights,” Dagmara Mejia, the director of UNHCR’s field office in the Mexican border city of Tijuana, told the Blade last summer during an interview at her office.
Mejia noted the trainings she and her colleagues conduct focuses on topics that include the use pronouns that correspond to an asylum seeker’s gender identity and shelter standards for LGBTQ asylum seekers.
UNHCR works with Jardín de las Mariposas, a shelter for LGBTQ asylum seekers in Tijuana that is less than two miles from El Chaparral, the main port of entry between the city and San Diego. UNHCR also maintains contact with Organization for Refuge, Asylum and Migration Executive Director Steve Roth and the California-based Transgender Law Center.
“If there is no disclosure, no trust, then we cannot meet their needs and respond,” said Mejia.
“We also create these environments that allow the community to feel safe and to know that it is a place where they can come without the risk of discrimination,” said Zavala.
Obenson told the Blade that UNHCR has worked with the Foundation for Ecodevelopment and Conservation (FUNDAECO), a Guatemalan NGO, to hire asylum seekers who have chosen to stay in Guatemala as park rangers. Trans women are among those who FUNDAECO has hired.
“People need to feel safe,” said Obenson. “People need to be able to live their authentic selves without fear of violence or fear of retribution.”
“That for me, as a rep, is what I strive for,” added Obenson. “Everything that we do here at UNHCR is to encourage that.”
A court in South Korea rejected a lawsuit brought by a gay couple attempting to gain equal access to health care benefits Friday — a ruling that advocates say highlights the struggles of LGBTQ people trying to gain rights in the country.
The lawsuit, filed last year by So Seong-wook, challenged South Korea’s National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) after it took away his ability to receive spousal benefits from the employer of his partner Kim Yong-min.
“The union of a man and woman is still considered the fundamental element of marriage, according to civil law, precedents of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court and the general perception of society,” the court ruled, according to the United Press International (UPI).
The couple is not married as same-sex marriage is not recognized in South Korea.
However, according to the Korea Herald, the NHIS allowed Kim to register So as his dependent in early 2020 — later reversing the decision citing their same-sex marriage. It was believed to be the first such case in the country.
In the lawsuit, So claimed he and his partner were discriminated against because the NHIS grants spousal coverage to common-law partners, often used by opposite-sex couples who are not married.
“Under the current legal system, it is difficult to evaluate the relationship between two people of the same sex as a common-law relationship,” said the ruling.
At a press conference, So told reporters that they plan to appeal the decision, adding: “I believe a world in which people can live equally is coming soon.”
“Even though the court has left it as a matter for the legislative branch, we will continue to fight until the day that our relationship is recognized,” Kim said outside the court. “I believe that love will eventually win.”
Advocates in South Korea said Friday’s ruling was a missed opportunity to move LGBTQ rights forward in the country, where there are also no anti-discrimination laws protecting sexual and gender minorities.
“The court could have made a more meaningful decision on the case, but they are trying to avoid touching this issue,” Lee Jong-geol, general director of LGBTQ advocacy group Chingusai, told UPI after the verdict.
“But [the case] may help push the country to see that this is an unavoidable issue that we need to do something about,” he said.
A judge in Taiwan has ruled in favour of a gay man who wants to adopt his husband’s non-biological child, in a historic step for LGBT+ rights.
Currently Taiwan, which in 2019 became the very first country in Asia to legalise marriage equality, only allows same-sex couples to adopt when one partner is the biological parent of the child.
But on 25 December, a family court in Kaohsiung city ruled that 38-year-old Wang Chen-wei’s child, who he previously adopted, could also be adopted by his 34-year-old husband Chen Chun-ju.
However, the ruling only applies to their specific case, and has not legalised same-sex adoption across the country.
Chen-wei told AFP: “I am happy that my spouse is also legally recognised as the father of our child… but I can’t feel all that happy without amending the law.
“It’s really absurd that same-sex people can adopt a child when they are single but they can’t after they get married.”
According to Taipei Times, Chen-wei added on Facebook: “We will continue to fight. The key is having the law revised.
“If our family wants to adopt another child, will we have to go through the same process again and gamble on which judicial affairs officer we get? Or will the law have been amended so it won’t be so hard for everybody?”
The path forward for other same-sex couples who want to adopt is unclear.
The Act for Implementation of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No 748, which legalised same-sex marriage in Taiwan, does not expressly allow or forbid same-sex adoption of children who are not biologically related to either parent, and only mentions one spouse adopting “the genetic child of the other party”.
While the Kaohsiung ruled that it the child in question should not be discriminated against, and that it would be “inappropriate to give a negative or discriminatory interpretation of the provision”, the Taiwan Equality Campaign said that two other couples it supports had had their adoption requests rejected.
Jennifer Lu, executive director of the LGBT+ rights group, told AFP: “We hope the rulings serve as a reminder to government officials and lawmakers that the current unfair legal conditions need to be changed.”
In a long-awaited triumph for the U.K.’s LGBTQ community, the government on Tuesday announced that anyone convicted of consensual same-sex activity under now-defunct laws will soon be eligible to be pardoned and have their records wiped clean.
This week’s announcement follows a less-expansive2017measure that was limited to nine former offenses that targeted gay and bisexual men. The new amendment will widen the criteria to anyone officially warned or convicted for an abolished civil or military offense that was imposed due to consensual gay sex.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement that it was only right that where offenses have been abolished, “convictions for consensual activity between same-sex partners should be disregarded, too.”
“I hope that expanding the pardons and disregards scheme will go some way to righting the wrongs of the past and to reassuring members of the LGBT community that Britain is one of the safest places in the world to call home,” she said.
According to the U.K. government’s statement, those eligible can apply to have their convictions wiped from their records under the condition that the sexual activity is currently legal and that any party involved was 16 or older at the time of the incident. The plan also includes a posthumous pardon granted to those who have died before the amendment’s ratification and within 12 months after.
Britain started to legalize consensual sex between men in 1967. Then in 2001, the age of consent for gay and bisexual men was lowered from 21 to 16, bringing it on par with the age of consent for heterosexuals. For comparison, England’s sodomy laws were repealed long after similar laws in France were abolished in 1791, but before all American sodomy laws were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003.
In 2013, Alan Turing, the codebreaker who aided in the defeat of the Nazis, was pardoned by Queen Elizabeth II for a same-sex offense he was convicted of in 1952. Then in 2016, the U.K announced its pardon plan, dubbed “Turing’s Law,” which granted posthumous pardons to thousands of men convicted under now-repealed laws.
Approximately 65,000 men were convicted under these abolished measures, according to Lord John Sharkey, a British politician who had been pushing for the pardons. In 2016, Sharkey estimated that 15,000 of these men were still alive, NBC News reported at the time.
LGBTQ advocates welcomed Tuesday’s announcement, but some called for the government to issue a formal apology to those affected by the historical convictions.
“Posthumous pardoning offers only a symbolic gesture to those who have since died without clearing their name,” the British advocacy group LGBTQ Foundation said in a statement, adding that the government must recognize “the pain, trauma and lifelong guilt and stigma these convictions gave many LGBTQ+ people, who were simply trying to live their lives and be their true selves.”
The group also said that the government should not make LGBTQ Britons apply for their convictions to be removed, which “has the potential to bring up past trauma.” Instead, they argued that the government should remove the offenses automatically.
The United Kingdom is not the only country to pardon past crimes involving consensual same-sex relationships. A similar victory swept across Australia in 2008, when all states and territories passed legislation allowing for the expungement of past homosexual offenses. And in the U.S., California Gov. Gavin Newsom created a pardon process in 2020 for LGBTQ Californians convicted under outdated laws criminalizing same-sex activity.
The Canadian government on Dec. 31 once again said it will resettle LGBTQ Afghans in the country.
Reuters reported a spokesperson for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser did not say how many LGBTQ Afghans will be resettled in Canada, but said they would have “been referred by a third-party aid organization.”
The spokesperson also told Reuters the Canadian government will allow upwards of 230 female judges and their relatives who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban regained control of the country to settle in Canada. They are expected to arrive in Canada this year, but the spokesperson did not provide a specific timeline.
The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan on Aug. 15 after it entered Kabul, the country’s capital.
A Taliban judge in July said the group would once again execute people if it were to return to power in Afghanistan.
The Canadian government previously said it would offer refuge to LGBTQ Afghans.
Two groups of LGBTQ Afghans who Rainbow Railroad, a Canada-based group, helped evacuate from Afghanistan arrived in the U.K. last fall. Some of the 50 Afghan human rights activists who Taylor Hirschberg, a researcher at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health who is also a Hearst Foundation scholar, has been able to help leave the country since the Taliban regained control of it are LGBTQ.
Rainbow Railroad is one of the many advocacy groups that has urged the Biden administration to do more to help LGBTQ Afghans who remain in the country.
The trans Pride flag has been planted on the peak of Antarctica’s highest mountain, Vinson Massif, by trans climber Erin Parisi.
Dedicating her achievement to “the resilience of the trans community” that “took me in when I had no hope”, Parisi said trans people “showed me that it’s better to be visible and free, than live in self-imposed exile, and that stigma withers when we visibly embrace our truth”.
Parisi added, in an Instagram post: “We’ve been pushed down, often even beat up, and faced every kind of coldness through our lives – our resilience keeps us rising to the top.”
She reached the 4,892 metre summit of Vinson Massif on 26 December after setting off for Antarctica on 18 December.
Reaching the highest point in Antarctica is part of Parisi’s years-long attemptto be the first openly trans woman to complete the “Seven Summits”: a mountaineering challenge to climb to the highest point of each of the planet’s seven continents.
Antarctica’s Vinson Massif was Parisi’s fifth peak of the seven summits: she still has Mount Denali, in Alaska, and Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, left to go.https://www.instagram.com/p/CYG_ja7uTPa/embed/?cr=1&v=14&wp=996&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinknews.co.uk&rp=%2F2022%2F01%2F03%2Ftrans-pride-flag-seven-summits-antarctica-erin-parisi%2F#%7B%22ci%22%3A0%2C%22os%22%3A1040%2C%22ls%22%3A825.0000000000001%2C%22le%22%3A848%7D
Speaking to PinkNews in July 2020, when she’d reached four of the seven peaks, Parisi also spoke about resilience when thinking about ascending Mount Everest as an openly trans climber: “When I look at Everest, I really very much see it as our way to be resilient, and to show that story of strength and recovery and resilience.”
She also described climbing Russia’s Mount Elbrus in June 2018. She didn’t fly a trans flag at the summit – the rainbow Pride flag is considered anti-family propaganda in Russia, and Erin knew she couldn’t face two weeks in a Russian prison – but she made a ‘T’ symbol with her hands at the top.
“That T is kind of my little rebellion where it’s like, you know, I’m trans and I’m on top of this mountain, the highest point in Europe, and this is this is who I am.”
As well summiting Vinson Massif in 2021, Parisi has climbed Argentina’s Aconcagua, in 2019; Russia’s Mount Elbrus, in 2018; Tanazania’s Mount Kilimanjaro, on International Women’s Day (8 March) in 2018; and Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko, also in 2018.
For each summit, Parisi takes a trans Pride flag – the pink, white and blue flag designed by trans Navy veteran Monica Helms – to plant at the peak.
Helms is aware of Parisi’s mission: “She said it’s her life’s dream to see it sit on top of Mount Everest. I did commit to Monica that I would bring a trans flag to the top of Everest.”
Israel will allow surrogacy for same-sex couples, single men and trans people from next week after a decade-long legal battle.
Health minister Nitzan Horowitz announced on Tuesday (4 January) that new rules making surrogacy accessible to all families will come into effect on 11 January.
Currently, surrogacy in Israel is only legal for heterosexual, married couples and single women who ask a surrogate to carry their biological child. Same-sex couples and single men must currently go abroad if they wish to access surrogacy, making the process even more complex and expensive.
According to the Times of Israel, while announcing the lifting of the ban, Horowitz said: “Today we put an end to injustice and discrimination. Everyone has the right to parenthood.”
Horowitz, who is Israel’s second openly gay Knesset member, said that the new surrogacy rules would include trans parents, and that they would enable “future fathers, gay couples and essentially every person in Israel equal access to surrogacy in Israel”.
“This is an exciting day for me, as a gay minister who is well aware of the exclusion and discrimination against us over the years,” he added. “It’s my personal struggle too.”
The 2021 court ruling on surrogacy came more than a decade after a petition was first filed at Israel’s top court in 2010 by gay couple Etai Pinkas Arad and Yoav Arad Pinkas.
Arad and Pinkas said in a statement that the announcement marked “a historic day”, and a “day of joy for Israeli society in general and in particular for the LGBT+ community, also due to the inclusion of the trans community in the amendment to the law”.
The Aguda – the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel said in a statement on social media: “After years of struggle – in the streets, in the courts, in the Knesset and in the government, we have succeeded and this is the achievement of us all.
“The right to be a parent is a basic right for every person and today we are taking a historic step in the struggle for equality.
“Along with the joy, we know that even today our struggle is still far from over. The road is still long and begins first of all with the most vulnerable populations in the LGBT+ community, and we are here to continue to fight for the rights of us all, everywhere.”
A leading group of girls’ schools has updated its admissions policy to exclude trans girls from being admitted as students.
The almost-blanket ban on trans girls has been implemented because, the group says, to let trans girls become pupils would jeopardise the schools’ status as single-sex. However, the policy encourages schools to support, affirm and include trans boys and non-binary students.
This decision has been called “unwise at best” by legal experts, who say that case law and statutory guidance suggests that a case-by-case approach – which the policy advises schools to take in the case of trans boys and non-binary people applying to become pupils – is “most legally defensible” as well as “the fairest way to proceed”.
The policy comes from the Girls Day School Trust (GDST), a group of 25 independent schools in England and Wales that charge fees and are subject to fewer regulations than state-funded schools in the UK.
In a December 2021 update to its “Gender Identity Policy”, the GDST says it aims to set a framework for “how the GDST will support students in relation to gender identity, while recognising the fundamental principle that support will always need to be individualised and based upon acting in a student’s best interests”.
While the policy is inclusive towards trans boys and non-binary people, saying that applications from these students should be “carefully considered on a case-by-case basis”, it also places a ban on trans girls from being admitted to a GDST school.
Girls Day School Trust will admit girls ‘based on legal sex’
“The GDST is committed to single-sex education for girls,” says the six-page GDST policy, seen by PinkNews. “Admissions to GDST schools are based on the prospective student’s legal sex as recorded on their birth certificate.”
Under the UK’s gender recognition laws, only trans men and women over the age of 18 are able to correct their legal sex on their birth certificate. In the UK, pupils typically turn 18 in their final year of school – meaning the policy bans all but a tiny, if not non-existent, group of trans girls who have legal gender recognition being GDST students.
This is confirmed by the policy, which continues: “GDST schools are able to operate a single-sex admissions policy, without breaching the Equality Act 2010 on the basis of an exemption relating to biological sex.
“The GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate would jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools under the act.
“For this reason, GDST schools do not accept applications from students who are legally male. We will, however, continue to monitor the legal interpretation of this exemption.”
Legal experts warn school trans policy is ‘unwise at best’
The Trans Legal Project, which monitors developments in British law as they affect trans rights, told PinkNews that the new GDST policy is “unwise at best” and that there are two main legal concerns.
“Does admitting a trans girl remove the single-sex status of a girl’s school?” a spokesperson from the Trans Legal Project said. “Our strong view is that admitting a trans girl does not jeopardise the single-sex status of a girl’s school and the GDST is wrong about this.”
And secondly, the spokesperson said, “the law is not clear” on whether “a girls’ school [can] simply refuse to admit a trans girl” – which is why “the GDST policy is unwise at best”.
“Case law and statutory guidance covering gender reassignment in other areas suggest a case-by-case approach should always be taken,” the spokesperson added. “This would seem to be the most legally defensible and the fairest way to proceed.”
Making the law about single-sex exceptions clearer for service providers was one of the recommendations of a recent inquiry by a cross-party group of MP’s into gender recognition laws.
As well as making various recommendations to improve and streamline the gender recognition process for trans adults, the committee said there needs to be “better guidance on the single-sex and separate-sex exceptions” and urged the government to produce it, including “worked examples and case studies” made “in collaboration with trans rights groups, on best practice to provide trans and non-binary inclusive and specific services”.
Cheryl Giovannoni, chief executive of GDST, said in a statement that “first and foremost” the principle of the policy is to “offer a supportive educational environment to those students who are exploring their gender identity or in the process of transitioning”.
“Our trans students are welcome in our schools and our policy primarily sets out ways in which schools can support them,” she said. “A trans student already at our school can remain at the school for as long as they wish to do so. Young people exploring their gender identity need space and time to make decisions, free of pressure.”
Giovannoni added that GDST schools “are able to operate a single-sex admissions policy, without breaching the Equality Act 2010 on the basis of an exemption relating to biological sex”.
“Under current laws and guidance, the GDST believes that an admissions policy based on gender identity rather than the legal sex recorded on a student’s birth certificate could jeopardise the status of GDST schools as single-sex schools under the act. We will continue to monitor the legal interpretation of this exemption.”