On January 14th the House of Commons released a report from the Transgender Equality Inquiry. The Diversity Trust welcomes this report, both for its long overdue recognition of the discrimination faced by trans people in the UK, and for its positive attitude towards creating change.
The report estimates that there are in the region of 650,000 people in the UK who are “gender incongruent” in some way; that is they do not fit neatly into the traditional system of two genders fixed at birth. This amounts to around 1% of the population.
The report refers to “high levels of prejudice […] and misunderstanding experienced by trans people.” It notes that around half of all young trans people in the UK, and a third of trans adults, report attempting suicide.
Although the report recommends a significant programme of legislation, it also notes, “Legal changes are critical, but they will only bite if there is cultural change too.” The Diversity Trust supports this view.
Chief Constable Jane Sawyers for the National Police Chiefs’ Council told the committee that amongst police forces, “most […] do not know anybody who is trans and have not dealt with anybody who is trans. Therefore, talking to members of the trans community, being able to hear life experiences or something as simple as understanding what language is correct to use actually helps officers.” The same is doubtless true of other areas of public service.
The report recommends training on trans issues in a number of public service areas including the police, the NHS, schools, universities, the prison service and social care services. In some cases it recommends that this training be mandatory.
The Diversity Trust has extensive experience of proving trans awareness training to a variety of clients in the public service and voluntary sectors. Training is provided by a trans person, so as to give the class an opportunity to have personal contact with the subject matter.
We would be happy to hear from any organisation seeking to improve its knowledge of trans issues and help its staff to cope better with clients and colleagues whose gender presentation may seem unfamiliar. Courses can be tailored to clients’ individual requirements.
Download our Trans Awareness course flyer please click here
View our upcoming Trans Awareness course dates click here Events
Read more from our own correspondent Cheryl Morgan on her blog post here Cheryl Morgan Blog