Gender Identity Research & Education Society

GIRES is a UK wide organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse people of all ages, including those who are non-binary and non-gender.

GIRES is a professionally managed membership charity supported by volunteers that, in collaboration with other groups in its field, hears, helps, empowers and gives a voice to trans and gender diverse individuals, including those who are non-binary and non-gender, as well as their families.

We use evidence from individuals’ lived experiences, combined with scientific research into gender identity development, to educate all those who are able to improve trans and gender diverse individuals’ wellbeing. We contribute to policy development regarding equality and human rights for individuals, especially in healthcare.

We also deliver training, e-learning and information to public and private sector organisations, including supporting trans and gender diverse employees or students.

Information GIRES Services Information and GIRES Support Information.

News

11th July 2024

Government RSHE consultation

This consultation seeks feedback on proposed revisions to the Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education statutory guidance 2019. This review is an opportunity to ensure that the guidance:

  • covers all essential curriculum content;
  • supports high-quality teaching which is inclusive and meets the needs of pupils;
  • supports schools to develop an open and positive relationship with parents, complementing the role of parents as the primary educators of their children.

Response to HM Governments RSHE Satututory Guidance July 2024

3rd June 2024

Conservative policy pledge on amending the Equality Act to change “sex” to “biological sex”

GIRES along with other members of the LGBT Consortium response:

“The Equality Act is world-class legislation that took almost a decade to develop, and has been working well for 14 years. Under the Act, trans people can legally access single-sex services based on their gender, and services can exclude trans people, whether or not they hold a Gender Recognition Certificate, if it is a proportionate thing to do to achieve a legitimate aim. We believe the thresholds that the Equality Act sets are a proportionate bar for services to address if they are to use these single-sex exemptions. Violence affecting women and girls is a significant concern, including for many LGBTQ+ women. It is vital that there is sustained and meaningful investment to ensure there are services which meet the full diversity of need across the country. However, it is not necessary to redefine sex in the Equality Act for service providers to provide a range of services. This is something they do routinely already.”

30th April 2024

NHS Constitution: 10-year review

Details about the review are on the government website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/nhs-constitution-10-year-review/nhs-constitution-10-year-review 

The consultation closes at 11.59 pm on 25 June 2024, and you can respond via the online survey.

Statement regarding the review

Everyone deserves timely access to holistic, high-quality healthcare and to be treated with dignity, privacy and respect throughout their treatment and care. This includes trans, non-binary and intersex people who already face significant barriers and inequality when accessing NHS care. The consultation will inform changes to the NHS Constitution that will be in place until 2035. We have concerns about some of the changes proposed, particularly those likely to impact trans patients and healthcare professionals. 

In the meantime, we’d like to remind everyone that these proposals are under consultation, and will not change how NHS healthcare is provided at this time. There is likely to be a lot said and written about these proposals, not all of which will be balanced.  We’re looking carefully at the proposed changes and working with experts to understand their legal and practical impacts on trans, non-binary and intersex people and will share more with our communities in the coming weeks. If you have concerns about your wellbeing or healthcare please reach out for support. 

National Voices statement about the review

GIRES is one of more than 200 members of National Voices (the leading and largest coalition of health and care charities in England) which has published a commentary on the proposed NHS Constitution. 

https://www.nationalvoices.org.uk/newsitem/statement-on-nhs-constitution/#:~:text=National%20Voices’%20initial%20response%20to,changes%20to%20the%20NHS%20Constitution.&text=At%20National%20Voices%20we%20recognise,responsibilities%20that%20underpin%20our%20NHS

10th April 2024

The Cass Review: Final Report

CASS Report Cover

GIRES Statement following the publication of the CASS Report

Based on the peer-reviewed evidence published in reputable academic articles and the guidance published by the Endocrine Society and World Professional Society for Transgender Health the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES)  has consistently endorsed a cautious affirmative approach to caring for people of all ages who experience atypical gender identity development. The Cass Review and NHS England have chosen to ignore most of that evidence and guidance.

Affirmative approaches, in the last few years, have been conflated with the medicalisation of young people. This is however a misrepresentation: affirmative approaches refer to being supportive of a child’s needs and expressions – some children might not ever need medical treatment, and yet will need to be approached in a non-judgmental way. Even the provision of puberty blockers is not affirmative in the new meaning that the word has taken: blockers in fact do not cause any permanent alteration of the body and are used in the treatment of precocious puberty.

The Cass Review and NHS England have decided to ignore the above guidance as well as significant important peer-reviewed literature, either because it did not satisfy the GRADE method of appraisal (which is unsuitable in areas of care that concern quality of life and health measures to be assessed in the long term) or because they only accepted studies that looked into puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones separately, when instead disentangling the effects of the two forms of treatment is often not scientifically possible.

Of note, many other pediatric medications that are routinely used in pediatric care, do not and cannot have the level of evidence that Cass and NHS England demand. Anti-psychotic medications and many others have comparable if not lower levels of evidence.

In this area of care, as in any other area of care, treatment is to be provided if and when the risks of not offering treatment are worse than the risks of offering it. Doctors have a duty to consider not only the side effects and the benefits of interventions but also, obviously, the risks of leaving patients without treatment. On occasions, it is best not to treat, because the side effects of treatment would outweigh the benefit. But nobody would deny that clinicians have a duty to offer medical and surgical treatment, which might be risky and cause harm and suffering if leaving patients without those treatments were to cause patients greater risks of harm and suffering. The decision to treat, and the decision not to treat, are seldom, if ever, neutral. These decisions need to rest both on existing evidence, but also on consideration of the circumstances of the patients, of available alternatives, and likely or predictable outcomes in the short and long term of both options (treating and not treating).

 

Professor Simona Giordano’s book provides very full lists of relevant scientific references:Children and Gender Ethical issues in the clinical management of transgender and gender diverse youth, from early years to late adolescence: Oxford University Press 2023

Dr Ruth Pearce, Lecturer in Community Development at the University of Glasgow, and a researcher on trans healthcare,  has written an article titled: What’s Wrong with The Cass Review, a round up of commentary and evidence: https://ruthpearce.net/2024/04/16/whats-wrong-with-the-cass-review-a-round-up-of-commentary-and-evidence/

 

April 2024

HM Government’s Further Education Residential Accommodation: National Minimum Standards Consultation 2024

This consultation aims to align the Standards with the position on residential accommodation being consulted upon in the draft ‘Gender Questioning Children: non-statutory guidance for schools and colleges in England’, which was published for consultation on 19 December 2023.

GIRES Submission: Further Education – accommodation for gender questioning children 202404

PDF (113KB)

March 2024

GIRES Submission in Response to HM Government’s Guidance for Schools and Colleges: Gender Questioning Children Consultation 2024

Consultation document: Guidance_for_schools_and_colleges_gender_questioning_children_consultation_document

GIRES Submission: Response to HM Governments Schools Guidance

PDF (211KB)

Celebrating Infinitely Diverse Gender Expressions

A few of GIRES’ friends colleagues and supporters.


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