Recently, the Trans Safety Network wrote an open letter on legal action against trans healthcare for autistic adults. The letter spoke about how autistic adults should have the right to access trans healthcare and was signed by many transgender and LGBTQ+ rights groups, as well as other charities and community groups. You can read the letter on their website here: https://transsafety.network/posts/open-letter-legal-case-adult-autistic-trans-healthcare/
The letter spoke about legal action taken by the parent of a trans autistic adult who consented to undergoing an elective procedure. The proposed judicial action goes against the first and third principles in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
Those principles state that a person should never be assumed to lack capacity just because they are disabled, or because they are making a choice that someone else thinks is unwise. If the judicial review goes ahead and the parent is successful, it could lead to disabled adults seeking trans healthcare experiencing more barriers to access what they need.
As an advocacy organisation who work with many transgender and autistic adults, we believe that autistic adults should be able to access trans healthcare services without obstacles. Autistic people and transgender people are two of the most discriminated-against groups in society. Both experience more barriers than most when it comes to being listened to and accessing services and support.
A lot of our work involves making sure people are heard and able to access the support they need. We work with hundreds of autistic adults through our Leeds and Yorkshire Autism AIM projects, as well as our statutory and Community Advocacy services. We also work with many trans people too – a significant proportion are also autistic.
The hope is that the autistic adult in question is listened to and able to get the elective procedure they need. If their voice is not listened to, this could see the rights of disabled people everywhere to access all kinds of trans healthcare diminished.