Trans* Jersey’s manifesto defines the problems faced by transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, androgynous, bigender and intersex Jersey residents in 2014 and explains what actions we intend to take to address these issues.
Trans* Jersey believes that the island’s trans population is being patchily served by GPs and the States of Jersey Health and Social Services (“H&SS”) Department. This is due to the lack of clear guidelines for healthcare professionals working with trans patients. Individual clinicians within the H&SS Department are not seen to be at fault and, once the H&SS Department has been accessed, experiences of care have been good to excellent, largely through the efforts of the clinician acting on their own initiative. However, the initial route into healthcare for trans patients is unclear. The evidence suggests that the quality of healthcare provided is also influenced by the tenacity and perseverance of the trans individual being treated.
Trans* Jersey supports the calls by trans* organisations in the UK that the process for procuring a gender recognition certificate (“GRC”) needs revision. The Gender Recognition (Jersey) Law 2010 allows for a GRC from a recognised jurisdiction to be passed in the Royal Court. Any revisions that happen to the UK Gender Recognition Act 2004 as a result of the consultation happening with trans* organisations will, therefore, directly affect trans islanders. At present, Jersey has no mechanism by which to issue a GRC. However, this may change if trans* organisations within the UK are successful in calling for the Gender Recognition Act to be scrapped and for the issuance of a GRC to be an administrative process driven by the trans individual.
Trans* Jersey is committed to ensuring that all States of Jersey legislation that directly affects trans* islanders is scrutinised and responded to on behalf of the Jersey trans* community in order to safeguard our human rights. Trans* Jersey is currently preparing a response to both the States of Jersey consultation on sex discrimination and the imminent debate on equal marriage. Trans* Jersey will also be reviewing all legislation in force to ensure that there are no revisions that need to be called for.
Trans* Jersey believes that equal marriage legislation is essential to ensure that trans islanders are not discriminated against, and that any equal marriage law introduced in Jersey should not contain the so-called Spousal Veto. Trans islanders who are married or in a civil partnership at the time of their transition have no option currently but to get divorced before they can acquire a full GRC. On the granting of a full GRC, the couple may formalise their partnership again by having another wedding ceremony. This situation is patently in violation of all human rights.
Trans* Jersey believes that education is the key to many of the issues faced by trans* individuals in society and is therefore committed to providing opportunities and resources to cisgender islanders in order that they can learn more about the trans* population. In the coming months, Trans* Jersey will be seeking conversations with private schools and the States of Jersey Education, Sport and Culture (“ES&C”) Department about including trans* issues within the sex education curriculum.
These are not the only issues faced by trans* individuals in Jersey, but they are the most important ones to be addressed. We are a small group with no financial backing. This manifesto is, therefore, necessarily realistic in its aims. It is not possible to hit all targets at once so we are being selective. Once progress has been made on these issues, we can turn our attention to other areas where reform is needed.
You can download the complete manifesto as a pdf here.