There are a number of laws and guidelines that protect transsexual people and outline how they should be treated by medical professionals.

Gender Recognition Act 2004

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 gives certain legal rights to trans men and women.

Under the Gender Recognition Act of 2004, trans men and women can:

  • apply for and obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate to acknowledge their gender identity
  • get a new birth certificate, driving licence and passport
  • marry in their new gender

To apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, you must be over 18.

The application process requires you to prove that:

  • you have or have had gender dysphoria
  • you have lived as your preferred gender for the last two years
  • you intend to live permanently in your preferred gender

Find out about:

Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 brought together over 116 previously separate pieces of legislation into one single act.

The act covers what was previously protected under the Sexual Discrimination Act 1975 – namely legal protection for transsexual people in the workplace and wider society against:

  • victimisation
  • harassment
  • discrimination

If you're suffering discrimination at work, you should report it. The GOV.UK website has more information about what you can do if you think you've been unfairly discriminated against.

You can also read about the Equality Act 2010 on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) website.

Clinical guidelines

In addition to the legislation above, there are also clinical guidelines for health professionals that outline what high-quality care for transsexual people should involve.

Such guidelines include:

Page last reviewed: 12/04/2016

Next review due: 12/04/2018