We have a legal system in the UK that recognises every individual as either a man or a woman and this is usually determined by what it says on your birth certificate. It is increasingly recognised and accepted however that gender identity (that is to say the gender we most identify with) is not always the same as the gender we are born into.
This article looks at the legal framework surrounding gender recognition and examines recent case law illustrating the approach taken by the courts.
The legal process behind gender recognitionLegally changing gender is an evidence-heavy and fairly onerous process. One must acquire a gender recognition certificate (GRC), which states the new gender, and confirms that person is now legally the gender they currently live as. In the absence of a GRC, a person can still legally change their name via deed poll, and title and gender on almost all records such as a driving licence and passport and many transgender people have decided, for whatever reason, not to apply for a GRC at all.