Self ID in the UK

‘Self ID’ is a concept which allows people to identify as a gender incongruent with their sex just by declaring themselves to be the opposite sex (or, sometimes, non-binary).

A lot of fuss has been made over the question of self-ID (which is proposed in Scotland and already exists in Ireland). At the moment, it looks unlikely in England. 

In the UK, though, many things can be had without Self ID, and very few GRCs are issued – 5871 as of May 2021

First of all, if Stonewall are correct that “gender reassignment” is “any step that suggests you are trans”, the need for a GRC is diminished to non-existence. 

Secondly, in the UK you can change your details in almost every place very simply and cheaply: 

  • A name change is a matter of statutory declaration, which you can buy online for a few pounds, or do yourself 
  • Driving licence name change is free of charge with that declaration
  • You can change your utility bills simply by writing to the company
  • You can change your name with the HMRC by letter
  • You can change your passport name and sex marker with only a letter from “a registered practitioner” (this could be a licenced tattoo artist or beautician, but most people would ask their GP). 

In practice, this means that we have most of self-ID in the UK – you need a GRC only to change your birth marker. In fact, because the process is so fluid, it is if anything too easy. Makes you wonder why they still talk about it so much, doesn’t it? 

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