Can I come to the Trans People's Forum?

This forum is intended as a safe space in which anyone who identifies as queer, trans  or non-binary gender will feel confident that whomever attends already has a sound understanding of trans issues.  

It is essential that those who identify as such feel free to speak and express their opinions without the fear of judgement, or the burden of having to explain themselves to those whose understanding is from cisgender experience.

However, if trans participants would feel happier bringing a friend, partner, relative who is cis-gender, please discuss this with the Trans Forum directly.

What should I expect when I attend?

A safe, non-judgmental, respectful environment.

What should I bring?

Courtesy, and an open mind.

Who can attend the Stake Holders Forum?

Any professional service providers with a responsibility for equality and diversity.

I'm worried I might cause offence by the words I use!

When addressing an individual we should not make any assumptions about their identity. In the same way a person's cultural identity is personal and often complex, so is a person's gender identity.

The language of gender is nuanced.

Words (e.g. 'queer') which might offend one person will be a label worn with pride by another. The only way to know which and individual prefers is to ask. (Only if it is pertinent to the discussion, of course!).

"What's your pronoun?"

We need to get used to asking the question, and accepting and respecting the answer. A person's identity is not up for debate. Ever.

Lastly, THINK about the questions you might ask. 

"Have you had 'the op'?" 

This wholly inappropriate  on so many levels: 

Unless you are very well acquainted, or a  health professional, with the need for such information, it is RARELY ok to ask about a part of a person's body that is usually covered by underwear. (unless it is for medical information). 

Referring to a person's 'real' gender is offensive

Cis- and trans- women are women; Cis- and trans- men are men; 

"I remember when you were Joseph / Joanne" 

Dead-naming can be very hurtful to a trans person, it can trigger harmful emotions, bad memories, and gender dysphoria. 

"He...I mean she..."

Accidental misgendering is understandable if you have known someone for a great many years as one gender. You might slip up once or twice at the start of their transition; or you might call them by their deadname, as genuine mistake. 

A simple "Oh I'm sorry..." and self correction is fine, and would probably be appreciated by all concerned. 

Other than that, there is no excuse. If a person can remember a change of name when  their friend gets married, or has no trouble remembering the players in their favourite football team, then there is only one reason for misgendering someone , or deadnaming them: DISRESPECT.

How Will It Benefit Stakeholders?

Public sector service providers  '... are now required, in carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to achieve the objectives set out under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 to:.

(a) eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act 2010;

(b) advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it;

(c) foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Stakeholders will benefit from the  process of assessing, monitoring and evaluating the quality and effectiveness of their service to trans needs, as detailed in Public Sector Equality Duty documentation