We are a law firm committed to supporting the trans community (along with our many other LGBT+ clients) and for Trans Day of Visibility, NGA solicitor Luke Williams, who leads our gender recognition services and is trans himself, writes about his personal take on trans visibility in Shon Faye’s book “The Transgender Issue: An Argument for Justice”.
“Ever since the Government announced its consultation to review the Gender Recognition Act 2004 in 2018, the media has been dominated by news items about the “transgender issue” although with very few trans people sharing their lived experiences. Shon Faye’s book was published in September 2021 and received considerable fanfare, with the Times Literary Supplement saying it “takes the status quo by the lapels and gives it a shaking”.
“I found it refreshingly incisive. The book begins with a clear and accessible account of the experience of being trans in the UK in terms of the hostile media coverage, risk of sexual violence and a lack of long-term provision to take into the account the needs of older trans people. Shon draws on a range of areas such as Donald Trump’s ban on trans people serving in the US military, the UK Government’s reform of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, and hate crimes to demonstrate that trans people are not afforded the protections and societal worth others enjoy. The chapters “The T in LGBT” and “Trans People in Feminism” discuss the relationship between the trans community and other LGBT people (including a subset of lesbians who are anti-trans), and the extent to which trans women in particular are welcomed within feminism as equal partners to non-trans cis women.
“Throughout the book Shon deliberately refuses to discuss her personal transition in a way that trans people are so often expected to. Her concluding thoughts summarise beautifully the reason for this. She says:
“Hope is part of the human condition and trans people’s hope is our proof that we are fully human. We are not an ‘issue’ to be debated and derided. We are symbols of hope for many non-trans people, too, who see in our lives the possibility of living more fully and freely. That is why some people hate us: they are frightened by the gleaming opulence of our freedom. Our existence enriches this world.”
“I would urge anyone who wishes to understand trans people’s experiences and place within current society in a deep way, beyond the headlines, to read Shon’s book.”
NGA Law has developed a leading reputation for assisting LGBT+ clients to navigate complex legal frameworks, often in difficult circumstances, and for securing groundbreaking legal decisions which have advanced recognition for all kinds of modern families. We are committed to advocating for the trans and non-binary community and to campaigning for law reform that will promote autonomy and self-determination.
Find out more about how we support trans clients with:gender recognition, Shon Faye, TDOV, trans, transgender