"It's perfectly legal to be gay, but only if we put you on this secret government list of gay people".
If I ever need to explain UK gender recognition certificates to a Muggle, that's how I do it. There is usually a shocked moment of incomprehension, then the penny drops that something they considered to be a perfectly reasonable identification requirement is in fact a bit sinister, not to mention rather unnecessary. I don't think there's a gay person alive who'd be happy to be put on a government-held secret list of gay people, and when put in those terms it becomes rather unreasonable to expect the same of a transgender person.
They're funny things, gender recognition certificates. You have to jump through a lot of hoops to get the evidence for one, pay a rather steep fee, then convince a panel of cis people that you're trans enough to require one. All for a bit of paper that it's a criminal offence for someone to ask to see, the right to a reprint of your birth certificate with your correct gender on it, and your name on that secret government list of transgender people. And the idea was that it also put you in the right jail if you commit a crime, though that last point's taken a bit of a battering this week. The trans woman without one who was sent to a men's jail came out for her appeal and then went straight back to a women's jail. Yes, the subject of my last post didn't get let off on appeal, common sense prevailed, and she's back on her diet of porridge. Girl porridge.
So we're left with a new birth certificate as the main prize. And if that's one which some people among our community consider to be a big one, then good for them. I just can't say I'm one of them.
What gender recognition certificates really do has very little to do with us. They exist as just one more Thing To Appease the Panicking Cis People Who Can't Handle the Idea of Trans People. If we bend over backwards to appease them, we're rewarded with a dog biscuit, oops, I mean shiny bit of paper.
Sorry, I'm all done with sit-up-and-beg tail-wagging, I want to get on with my life.
Funnily enough, there exists a fabled land in which gender recognition is as simple as deciding how you want to be recognised. No panels, no secret government lists.
Where is this place? The Irish Republic, a short ferry ride to the west. Has the world stopped turning on the Emerald Isle since they passed this enlightened law? Have cats married dogs? Hardly. Instead they're just getting on with their lives, just like we should be.
Wish it could happen here in the UK? You could always petition the Government about it...