Ask the Lawyer: My ex is disclosing my gender identity without my permission – what can I do?

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PinkNews brings you the latest in a series of features which sees your real questions answered by leading lawyers at Simpson Millar.

The question comes from a man who is concerned that his ex-partner is disclosing the fact that he is trans to people without his permission.

He asks: “I am a transgender man and split up with my ex-partner 6 months ago.

“I have now found out that my ex is disclosing to people that I am trans without my permission. I have a Gender Recognition Certificate and a new birth certificate. I live without disclosing that I am trans to most people.”

Adding: “I know that I have rights concerning being outed by an employer, but I am unclear about my rights in this situation, which is affecting my mental health.

“Would I, for example, be able to use libel law to protect myself? Am I protected by the Gender Recognition Act in this situation?”

A Simpson Millar lawyer answers, saying: “Unfortunately, defamation law isn’t the answer in this situation.

“Even though it’s reasonable to say that 'outing' someone as transgender against their will would potentially constitute defamation, there is a defence that your ex could use against you if you take action. If they can show that their statements about your gender – even though defamatory – are true, then they won't be liable.

“Although the Gender Recognition Act 2004 states that it's an offence for someone who has gained protected information in an official capacity to share this with anyone else, this won't apply to your situation as your ex hasn't been given this information in this way.

“The solution to your problem would most likely be getting an injunction to prevent your ex-partner from disclosing your gender and Gender Recognition Certificate to others.”

If you’d like to discuss this further, contact Simpson Millar Solicitors on 0800 260 5005 or click here to request a call-back.

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Unfortunately, we will not be able to answer all questions that are sent in and Simpson Millar is only able to give advice that relates to the law in England and Wales.

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