Olly Alexander launches scathing attack on Tories over Scottish gender bill: ‘I’m not surprised’

On the left: Olly Alexander in wearing a multicoloured jacket with black roll neck and silver chain against a grey background. On the left, Rishi Sunak talking.

Olly Alexander has blasted the UK government’s decision to block Scotland’s gender reform bill, saying the Tories have “completely abandoned” trans people.

The actor and Years & Years singer joined a chorus of LGTBQ+ activists criticising the UK government’s unprecedented decision, which will prevent the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) bill from becoming law – and risk breaking up the United Kingdom in the process.

The legislation would have made it simpler and quicker for trans people in Scotland to legally change their gender by acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC).

Writing on Twitter, Alexander said: “Quite amazing to think it was Theresa May who pledged to reform the GRA back in 2017 and now the same government is blocking any reforms.”

It was at the 2017 PinkNews Awards that then-PM May committed to “streamlining” England and Wales’ Gender Recognition Act (GRA) by removing the requirement for someone to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria before they can legally change their gender.

She declared that “being trans is not an illness and it should not be treated as such”.

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Theresa May at the PinkNews Awards 2017
Theresa May speaks at the PinkNews Awards in 2017. (PinkNews)

Olly Alexander continued: “I’m not surprised to see the Tories completely abandon trans people – I don’t think they ever really cared.

“The GRA is outdated, it should be reformed – a UK public consultation in 2018 showed the majority of people agreed on this.”

The consultation in question, carried out by the Government Equalities Office, revealed that nearly two-thirds of respondents felt that a diagnosis of gender dysphoria should not be necessary for someone to acquire a GRC.

In addition, the vast majority of respondents felt that trans people should not have to provide evidence of having lived in their acquired gender in order to obtain a GRC, with many calling the process “dehumanising” and “humiliating”.

Once a trans person has a GRC, they are able to update their birth certificate and have their affirmed gender written on their marriage or civil partnership certificate, and on their death certificate when they die.

Other high-profile figures to condemn the government’s move include author and activist Munroe Bergdorf, who called it “discriminatory” and “undemocratic”.

She told her Twitter followers: “This government is slipping into authoritarianism. Blocking this bill is a constitutional first, in the midst of multiple crises, where focus should be on making the lives of society’s most vulnerable easier not harder.”

Meanwhile, broadcaster India Willoughby also took to Twitter to say that the UK government is “clearly weaponising trans people because it’s the only thing they have,” before urging trans people not to be “too downhearted”.

She added: “We go on. And like all other minorities in history we will WIN our struggle! I PROMISE YOU.”