Welsh Liberal Democrats to hold Assembly debate on Transgender awareness

Transgender pride flagThis week, as well as being Anti-Bullying Week, is Transgender Awareness Week. Thursday marks the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a memorial to all those transgender people who have been injured and killed as a result of hate crime.

Tomorrow, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are holding a debate in the Welsh Assembly that aims to make life better for Wales’ 31,300 transgender citizen. The idea is to persuade the Welsh Government to actually put some walk to the talk. For those 31,300 people, there is no Gender Clinic in Wales. While violence against transgender people is a hate crime, there’s been little done to actually make people safer.

GenderqueerAhead of the debate, Kirsty Williams said:

This is a long overdue debate, and I’m pleased that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are giving these issues the attention they deserve. Trans people are subject to so much prejudice throughout their lives, and there’s so much more we can do to support them access public services.

The Welsh Labour Government claims there isn’t enough demand for a gender clinic in Wales, but are doing so without any solid basis for their claim. Given that estimates put the number of trans people in Wales in the thousands, it’s astonishing to think that there still isn’t a single gender clinic in Wales.

Trans hate crime has also been recognised as a concern by the Welsh Labour Government, yet there isn’t any publicly-funded LGBT safe housing in Wales for those facing bullying or persecution on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity in the same way that there would be for people experiencing domestic violence.

This is yet another issue where Wales is falling behind compared to the rest of the UK. I sincerely hope the Welsh Government will take the opportunity to take action and put in place these services as quickly as possible.

Gender fluidity flag

Last night, the BBC’s digital channel for children, CBBC, aired I am Leo, the video diary of a 13 year old transgender boy. It followed him as he sought to have his passport changed to reflect his gender. It told how he was able to be recognised as a boy at school and of the pressure of how it felt before he was able to be open about his gender. It was a very moving documentary and you can see it here on the iPlayer. I hope all AMs watch it before the debate tomorrow.

This post is illustrated with the flags representing transgender, genderqueer and gender fluidity at Prides.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Lauren Salerno 18th Nov '14 - 7:24pm

    This is a huge step forward for Wales who up until 2007/08 refused to fund surgery

    It appears three positive amendments have also been tabled two from a Conservative and one from Plaid. Labour however opposes ….. They have made great play in some circles of being the party of diversity introducing the Gender Recognition Act and the Equality Act. If, as suspected, Labour does oppose them we must expose them as the hypocrites they are.

    We must call not only on the various parts of the Trans communities but all allies, straight, gay, bi, poly, pan and asexual to reject Labour who’s commitment to true diversity is paper thin

  • Tsar Nicolas 19th Nov '14 - 8:47am

    I question your juxtaposition of the words bullying and transgender. Bullying is horrendous whoever you are and the experiences of the bullied must not be devalued in this sleight-of-hand way.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 19th Nov '14 - 9:23am

    Being bullied is always wrong – I know. I went through it and it took probably two decades to recover from its effects.

    I’m not sure I get the point you are trying to make. Transgender people are much more likely than the general population to suffer bullying and criminal attacks. It is right to highlight that and to raise awareness so that this does not happen. We should do the same for any other group of people who are targeted in this way. We shouldn’t assume there’s a one size fits all solution to bullying. We need to do what works. Education is always good in this regard.

  • I know very little about this issue but I will offer my support for the transgender people no one should be bullied for how they are same is true for all sexual orientation

    Good luck with your efforts

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