More than 1,000 transgender people have now been recognised as members of the public by the government’s Gender Recognitions Scheme, which aims to help the transgender community more fully understand their identity.
More than 3,000 trans people will be eligible for the scheme to become registered with the Department for Work and Pensions.
The Government announced the scheme on Wednesday, the same day that transgender rights group Stonewall released a report saying it had received an overwhelming number of complaints about the government.
“We are extremely proud to have seen the first of a series of milestones towards the government recognising transgender people as people, not just objects,” a spokesperson for the Transgender Equality Network said.
“This is a landmark day for the trans community and the NHS, which will allow them to be treated like any other patient in a way that makes sense for them.”
The government announced the new scheme in September, when it announced that it would begin offering transgender people the same rights as other people who have transitioned to the opposite sex.
But it said it would take time to assess the scope of the programme and make sure the new system was in place to fully meet the needs of trans people.
Stonewall, which has called for the government to move beyond its previous decision to allow transgender people to transition under the NHS’s existing Gender Recognises Scheme, has said it has received an increasing number of reports from people who say they are not being offered the same protections and rights as trans people under the new schemes.
“Trans people are at higher risk of suicide, sexual assault, homelessness, poor health, mental health and domestic violence,” the organisation said in a statement.
“The new scheme will give trans people more power over their healthcare and allow them more freedom to live their lives as they choose.”
The new Gender Reassignment (GRS) scheme will be introduced from the 1 March and will be paid for by the Government, with trans people to pay a small levy to fund the scheme.
The NHS has said that people who undergo surgery and/or hormone therapy for gender reassignment should not be excluded from accessing the scheme, which would include people who are gender non-conforming or gender dysphoric, or who are at high risk of violence.