Sometimes measures which are applied to everyone in the same way have a disproportionate affect on some groups of people. The new rule that all single people under 35 will not get housing benefit for a flat of their own looks as though it is equitable because it will affect everyone under 35 in the same way.
Not so. What if you are a trans person under 35 who is questioning their gender, who is unsure of their gender identity or knows they are trans but can't come out for fear of repercussions at work or with their parents? What if you are forced to share accommodation with other people? Suddenly that difficult process of coming out and figuring out your gender identity becomes much more fraught. suddenly you may find that the bullying and harrassment you get in the street, at college or at work comes home and you get hassle there as well. Effectively it forces you to come out to people who are essentially not your own group of friends.
This is goiung to hit transgender and gender variant young people very hard, to the extent that many will either continue to conceal their gender identities or be forced out of their homes by transphobic bullying. Young trans people are already a group with a high risk of poverty, unemployment and homelessness, this is just going to exacerbate the situation. This is one of the horrible measures which Cameron has announced, that will hit trans people hardest.
so what can people do? The first thing is to write to your MP. The second thing is to put a comment on Lynne Featherstone's blog about trans equality. Lynne Featherstone is Lib Dem minister for equality and a keen supporter of trans issues. Now is the time to ask her to put her money where her mouth is. We need to ask her, for the sake of all minority groups, to campaign against this measure in government, and if that fails at least to permit transgender people under 35 to obtain housing benefit for small flats on their own. To do otherwise is going to hit these people very hard and possibly even lead to more deaths from suicide. This is something there is already too much of.