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Fighting for legal and social recognition outside the gendered societal structure


I have many reservations about the current Commons Select Committee inquiry into trans* equality. Not least because the inquiry is led by former Equalities Minister Maria Miller who oversaw the previous coalition administration’s abandonment of trans* issues.

After having been vocal in my criticism of Maria Miller on many occasions in the past, I am not about to lie and say that I have confidence this inquiry will properly address the issues that seriously blight the lives of many trans* people in the UK. Or that the procedure is anything more than lip service and a general repetition of HM Passport Office’s fake ‘review’ over the issuing of non gender-specific ‘X’ Passports in the UK.

This inquiry was announced without warning or fanfare, with little time given to respond and, crucially, the inquiry was right in the middle of the holiday season and its announcement came just as I was preparing to pack my bags and leave dismal London for a week in sunny Sorrento.

It was extremely fortunate that my friends at esteemed law firm K&L Gates offered to step in and present an excellent submission to the Committee on my behalf for which I thank them very much.


More recently it was announced the government inquiry would be divided into four separate and specific categories: Healthcare, Hate crime and transphobia, Issues affecting trans* youth and Issues affecting trans* people in the criminal justice system.

Aside from a complete lack of any reference to non-gendered issues (and I would estimate a considerably higher percentage of trans* people would identify themselves as being neither male nor female than would ever get caught up within the criminal justice system), the most basic and fundamental right of legitimate identity appears nowhere in any of this. Neither does there appear to be scope for discussion on the amendment of discriminatory legislation, nor is there real scope for the depathologisation of trans* issues (unless someone can raise under the ‘Healthcare’ category).
There is no reference to endemic trans* joblessness, nor trans* homelessness and the obvious connection between the two that ultimately leads directly to some trans* people ending up in the criminal justice system.

This is uninspiring to say the least.

I may ultimately be proved wrong in that my suspicions concerning the credibility of the process are unfounded but that remains to be seen. An exercise in listening or lip service? To reform or renege?

Over to you, Maria Miller………

The denial of existence is the worst act of discrimination by the gendered majority against the non-gendered


Christie Elan-Cane

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