At Spectra, we stand with trans youth who are feeling erased and targeted by yesterday’s ruling at the High Court.
Whilst the GIDS will appeal, the impact of this case and following media coverage is being felt across the transgender community.
Access to HRT and trans affirming medications is heavily gatekept for trans people, with 3 to 4 year waiting lists for the NHS GICs, resulting in high need for trans counselling and crisis prevention services.
It is clear that young trans voices need to be central to any decisions being made about them. Consenting to hormone blockers – a treatment which is entirely reversible and has been widely researched and used for three decades – is something which should come under Gillick competency. Yesterday’s ruling seems to throw this into doubt for gender diverse young people in a way that is not the case for cis young people.
The court stated, “It is ‘difficult’ for a 16-year-old to understand and weigh up the consequences of consent”. This goes against similar consent judgements, including access to contraception setting a dangerous precedent for the future of consent for youth under scrutiny.
At Spectra we see the distress and confusion caused by this ruling and the subsequent media coverage. If you are struggling and wish to reach out, Mermaids and Gendered Intelligence both have helplines specifically set up to support trans youth.
We want to emphasize that we are here for trans and non-binary communities and provide a range of mental health and wellbeing services. You can find information about our services, including mentoring and social groups here: https://spectra-london.org.uk/trans-gender-services/
Trans people are who they say they are, trans rights are human rights and no judge can erase us! We stand together as a community and amplify trans voices.
Finally, if you wish to reach out, you can always contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.