Gender Reassignment and Discrimination

Trans people will face discrimination and prejudice across their life course and will often experience high levels of abuse before transitioning due to a rejection of their gender at an early age. In this way, many Trans men and women will experience homophobic attitudes (because of how society expects their gender to behave) before transitioning and experiencing both transphobic and homophobic attitudes during and after transitioning.

In regard to transgender equality issues, the Equality Act 2010 provides the following:

  • In the Equality Act 2010 ‘gender reassignment’ is named as an explicit protected characteristic, alongside age, disability, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

  • The requirement for medical supervision to take place as part of a process of 'gender reassignment' has been removed so someone who simply changes the gender role in which they live without ever going to see a doctor is protected.

  • All the main protections which already existed for gender reassignment are carried over from the previous Sex Discrimination Act legislation – e.g. protection from gender reassignment discrimination in employment and goods and services. The previously existing exceptions are also carried over.

  • The Equality Bill offers new protection from discrimination due to association with transsexual people or perception as a transsexual person.

  • It also offers new protection from indirect discrimination because of gender reassignment.

  • The public sector equality duty is extended to more fully include gender reassignment as one of the specific protected characteristics for which public bodies must take due regard of: the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation; the need to promote equality; and the need to promote good relations.

  • Protection is provided for gender reassignment discrimination in education

What is gender reassignment discrimination? - a short film by the Equality & Human Rights Commission
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