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Minister for Women and Equalities, Nicky Morgan MP, visits LGBT Youth Scotland transgender youth group Beyond Gender

                              

UK Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan MP met with transgender young people in Edinburgh. Speaking to young people from Beyond Gender youth group – recently awarded Youth Group of the Year at the Equality Network’s LGBTI Awards – the Minister heard young people’s stories and learned more about the issues affecting their lives. 

The Minister’s visit is timely, given that The Women and Equalities Committee is currently undertaking an inquiry into equality for transgender (trans) people. LGBT Youth Scotland works with LGBT young people across Scotland, and supports two trans specific youth groups – one in Edinburgh and one in Glasgow.

LGBT Youth Scotland, Beyond Gender and Scottish Transgender Alliance all raised the importance of the Equal Recognition Campaign to reform the Gender Recognition Act, in particular the importance of legally recognising people who do not identify as men or women and lowering the age of gender recognition to 16 years old.

Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland said:

"We were delighted to welcome Nicky Morgan (Minister for Women & Equalities) to LGBT Youth Scotland to visit the Beyond Gender youth group. It was a great opportunity for young people to have their views heard directly by a Government Minister. Young people spoke about their experiences of education and health services: they asked for more teacher training in order that transgender young people feel safe and supported in their education; recognition of non-binary identities; and work to reduce the waiting lists for gender specialists.

"Our research shows that 67% of transgender young people self-identified as having a mental health problem or condition due to experiencing prejudice and discrimination; 37% of transgender young people had left education as a direct result of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia; and less than half of transgender young people would be confident to report a hate crime. It is clear that more needs to be done - we hope the visit has been valuable in getting trangender young people's stories heard and will go some way to improve the lives of transgender young people across the UK."

Nicky Morgan MP commented:

“It was a pleasure to visit the Beyond Gender youth group in Edinburgh.  The young people I met were truly inspirational, and it is clear that the organisation is doing fantastic work to tackle discrimination and raise awareness of the issues affecting LGBT young people.”

Young people from Beyond Gender youth group said:

“It was nice to be heard by someone who has power to make changes and we hope that the minister acts on the issues we raised with her today. Beyond Gender is a lifeline for us - it’s a place you will always be accepted as yourself.  We want to live in a Scotland and UK where trans people are accepted and respected for who they are and can grow up safe and happy.”

ENDS

Notes for the Editor

1/ LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland. Our vision is to: “empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and the wider LGBT community so that they are embraced as full members of the Scottish family at home, school and in every community.”  www.lgbtyouth.org.uk

2/ LGBT Youth Scotland is a company limited by guarantee (No 244805) with charitable status (SC024047). Registered at 40 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6JD

3/ LGBT Youth Scotlands transgender briefing can be found at https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/files/documents/Life_in_Scotland_-_Transgender_briefing.pdf

4/ Photos from the visit available at https://www.dropbox.com/home/Ministerial%20Visit

5/ Scottish Transgender Alliance http://www.scottishtrans.org/

6/ Inquiry into equality for transgender people http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/women-and-equalities-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/transgender-equality/

7/ Press Contact: Cara Spence, 0131 555 3940 or email: cara.spence@lgbtyouth.org.uk