Trans voices must be heard: your letters to the editor.

Trans voices must be heard

The legal profession has a long and distinguished history of championing equality and justice for all.

We are therefore disappointed that on 24 February the Gazette published a news item consisting primarily of the personal opinions of one solicitor and one barrister. This piece contained criticisms of the Equal Treatment Bench Book’s guidance for judges, which advises that trans people should be referred to by their chosen name and pronouns in court. The article attracted an influx of anti-trans comments as a result of it being shared on social media. 

The Gazette did not approach the Law Society LGBT+ Lawyers Division committee, which comprises women and trans representatives, for comment before publishing the article.

The LGBT+ Lawyers Division is proud to represent and support all LGBT+ members of the solicitors’ profession. Discussion and progress cannot happen unless everyone has a voice.

The committee endorses the Equal Treatment Bench Book guidance, which emphasises the importance of treating trans people with dignity and respect. We stand firmly alongside our trans colleagues and their allies in working to ensure acceptance and inclusion for all.

Law Society LGBT+ Lawyers Division committee


Grossly offensive and wrong

I wish to express my concern and dismay at your recent news item: ‘Warning over transgender guidance to judges’ (24 February).

As a solicitor and someone who is trans, I have experienced open discrimination and prejudice within the legal profession. Your article was inappropriate and wholly biased in favour of the LGB Alliance, an organisation that seeks to undo legal protections for trans people here in the UK. Ms Bailey’s quote ‘I do not have a gender and object to being redefined by men who wish to live as women’ is not only grossly offensive but wrong at law. Not only is gender reassignment a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, but a requirement for a gender recognition certificate is a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria, an often debilitating condition. Once an individual is granted a gender recognition certificate they become their acquired gender for all legal purposes.

Inflammatory language such as ‘men who wish to live as women’ is grossly offensive, more so from a fellow member of the legal profession and even more so when amplified in the Gazette.

I would like to quote the actress Laverne Cox: ‘It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist.’

Melissa Symes

Solicitor, Norwich