There are a number of laws and guidelines that protect transgender 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 trans people in the workplace and wider society against:
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.
In addition to the legislation, there are also clinical guidelines for health professionals that outline what high-quality care for trans people should involve.
Such guidelines include:
- the WPATH Standards of Care – produced by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH)
- NHS England Service Specification for Gender Identity Development Service for children and adolescents (PDF, 1.15MB) – produced by NHS England
- Trans healthcare - produced by the General Medical Council (GMC)
Page last reviewed: 12 April 2016
Next review due: 1 April 2019