The Secretary of State for Women’s and Equalities Justine Greening has announced that there will be a consultation on a piece of legislation that would significantly change the legal status of transgender people in British society. The government have also announced a change to the rules regarding blood donation that will benefit gay and bisexual men. These measures are important and should be welcomed, however that should not mean that pressure on the government should be alleviated. Additionally, some aspects of society are still hostile towards the very idea of transgender equality and conversations need to be had so that so that our fellow citizens feel welcome in society.
Following on from an announcement made in June, Northern Ireland have lifted the lifetime ban on men-who-have-sex-with-men giving blood. As with all piecemeal change it’s welcome but doesn’t go far enough. Northern Ireland had a great opportunity to be trailblazers on this issue and finally get rid of this antiquated thinking around gay men giving blood. Instead the fight goes on for real equality.