A person has the protected characteristics of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.

A reference to a transsexual person is also a reference to a person who has the protected characteristics of gender reassignment.

Equality Act 2010 for gender reassignment

People who “propose to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment” have ‘protected characteristic’ of gender reassignment under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act). Accordingly, it is not necessary for people to have completed a process in order to be covered by the Act.  Those who are ‘perceived’ to be trans, or who are ‘associated with’ a trans person, such as family members and carers, are also protected under the Act. In addition, the Human Rights Act 1998 supports the rights of individuals to be treated with respect for their dignity and autonomy.

Gender Recognition Act 2004

A minority of trans people have gender recognition certificates (GRCs) giving them the status of their affirmed gender ‘for all purposes’.  Under the Gender Recognition Act (2004), if a person acting in an ‘official capacity’ learns that a person has a trans status or history, and that information is passed on to a third party without the consent of the person concerned, that is, potentially, a criminal offence.

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 came into force on 17 July 2013 and allows same-sex couples the same right to marry as opposite-sex couples.  Although the Act has received Royal Assent and is now law, it has not yet been implemented and the first same-sex marriages are not expected to take place until the summer of 2014.  The new legislation also mades some amendments to the Gender Reassignment Act 2004. The amendments enable existing marriages registered in England and Wales or outside the UK to continue where one or both parties change their legal gender and both parties wish to remain married. It also amends the Act to enable a civil partnership to continue where both parties change their gender simultaneously and wish to remain in their civil partnership.

Previously, an application for a Gender Recognition Certificate (to be recognised legally as a person of the opposite sex) had to include a statutory declaration as to whether or not the applicant was married or in a civil partnership, as obtaining the Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) would have the effect of making the marriage or civil partnership void.

Our commitment to ensure the needs of trans people are considered in our work

Our Equality Analysis process requires that we take account of the needs of trans people when carrying out Equality Analysis.

Trans people suffer the same ailments and accidents as the rest of the population. Unless their trans condition or history is strictly relevant to the situation, it should not be mentioned.           

Useful Links

Hospital accommodation for trans people and gender variant children

Aetiology article and update

World Professional Association for Transgender Health standards of care

Trans Mental Health Survey

Guides to hormone treatment and surgery

Caring for gender non-conforming young people

Transgender Health Factsheet

BAME Trans Inclusivity