This evening, the Welsh Assembly has voted in favour of calls by the Welsh Liberal Democrats to explore the feasibility of establishing a gender identity clinic in Wales.
Welsh Lib Dem AMs proposed an amendment in the Welsh Assembly to the Welsh Government’s Annual Equality Report which called for an independent feasibility study into establishing a clinic. Wales is the only nation of the UK without its own gender identity clinic, forcing trans patients to travel to England to receive treatment.
The absence of a Welsh clinic was one of many issues raised by the Welsh Lib Dems in their landmark debate on transgender issues, the first of its kind in the Welsh Assembly, which took place in November 2014.
An additional Welsh Lib Dem amendment calls on the Government to embed gender awareness training in teacher training courses to help create gender aware learning environments in Welsh schools. This amendment was also passed by the Assembly.
Peter Black AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Equalities Minister, said:
“From a lack of local clinics to inadequate housing provision, trans people in Wales are being somewhat left behind. I’m proud that the Welsh Lib Dems are leading the way on improving the experiences of trans people as they use public services.
“This is an important first step in finally ensuring that Welsh trans people don’t have to travel to the other side of the UK to receive treatment. The Welsh Labour Government previously claimed there isn’t enough demand for a gender clinic in Wales, but did so without any solid basis for their claim.
“We want Wales to lead the way in creating a fairer society where no-one, no matter who they are and what their gender, faces discrimination in their lives. It won’t happen overnight, but I’m proud we are walking along the right path to equality.”