Something very important got said in parliament last week. Oddly, it was so important that i am not at all sure that the speaker realised how important it was.
Speaking in a debate on the Identity Bill, Julian Huppert, Lib Dem MP for Cambridge got up to oppose a rather silly amendment from former Labour Minister Meg Hillier.
The point of Ms Hillier’s amendment was to make life “easier” for the transgendered by allowing them to carry two identity cards – one male, one female. This would supposedly prevent involuntary outing by allowing those not fully out to show the card appropriate to the circumstance in which they found themselves.
The fact that the only group of UK citizens then carrying identity cards would be the transgendered – and that carrying such a card would therefore be a dead giveaway – seems not to have occurred to the clever Ms Hillier.
In the debate, though, Mr Huppert recognised that an “official” gender that did not reflect the gender an individual presented as could be problematic. Embarrassing. Maybe even a cause for hassle with officials.
His solution? Not more bureaucracy, but less. Why not – utterly revolutionary idea, this – remove gender from all official forms where it wasn’t actually necessary. After all, the MOD warrant card manages quite happily without it.
Maybe this is just happy comment – not something that will go anywhere. But if it is more, then it is news that will gladden the hearts of many in the UK trans community. Time, methinks for a little letter-writing.