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Charli XCX speaks out against the UK government's attack on transgender healthcare rights

06 October 2023, 11:40 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Earlier this week, the UK government launched a new policy which was a direct attack against transgender people.

New measures have been announced this week by health secretary Steve Barclay, who wants to enforce female-only and male-only hospital wards, which leave a grey area for transgender patients. In a speech to Conservative activists at the party’s conference in Manchester, he promised that a patient’s request to have intimate care provided by someone of the same biological sex would be respected.

Elsewhere, Elliot Colburn, another Tory MP and chair of the cross-party group on global LGBT+ rights, said the distinction between sex and gender in patients was important. He said trans people could still contract illnesses that correspond with their birth sex, such as ovarian and prostate cancer – and that women should “be made to feel as comfortable” during treatment.

In an attack against transgender people and their rights, Barclay added: "If we do not get this right now, the long-term consequences could be very serious for the protection of women and future generations. We know what a woman is and I know the vast majority and the vast majority of NHS staff and patients do too."

More shockingly, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was met with roars of applause when he said: "We shouldn't get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can't. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that's just common sense".

Charli XCX has shared her thoughts on the blatant transphobia from the UK government, writing: "i’m absolutely disgusted by the continued violence towards the trans community by this current Uk government. the transgender and non binary communities face discrimination and prejudice every day and this absolutely ridiculous and uncalled for attack on transgender healthcare is just another violent act of hatred."

Last year, trans advocacy group Translucent shared results from an investigation where they sent Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to 102 different NHS trusts which asked if there were any complaints from natal female inpatients being cared for in the same ward as a transgender woman.

The FOI request was put to 10 trusts across the UK, where they were asked for data from between April 2020 and March 2021. 50 more were then asked for data between the period of January 2021 to December 2021, and 42 further between July 2021 and June 2022. When the results were returned to trans journalist Steph Richards, she said there were “no complaints, none, zilch.”

Whilst there were no complaints across as of the trusts she investigated, she did report a transgender woman who died as a result of a cardiac arrest after being placed in a side room.

In 2021, a Twitter thread from ‘Sex Not Gender Nurses and Midwives’ revealed that the patient was placed in a side room instead of a women’s open bay. They said, "She posed absolutely no threat to anyone, she presented and identified as a woman but staff put her in side room simply because they knew she was transgender and didn’t know what else to do. She died because of ignorance and thoughtlessness.”

Earlier this year, Charli XCX took to social media to acknowledge being name-checked in the iconic British soap, Eastenders.

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