Over the past few years we have seen a great increase in the visibility and awareness of trans and gender identity issues, unfortunately alongside that there has been a lot of hate, discrimination and violence. So often the conversation is focused on how people will be affected by trans people, but we need to also think about how society affects trans people. According to Stonewall, 41% of trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their gender identity in the last year and 12% of trans people have been physically attacked by a colleague or customer at work in the last year.
That is why it is so important for us to ‘come out’ as trans allies, challenging discrimination wherever we see or hear it and being visible when we do so. Being an ally is easy, you don’t have to be an expert in issues surrounding gender identity, all it really comes down to is not being rude!
March 31st is Trans Day of Visibility, this year Brighton and Hove City Council and the University of Brighton, among other local organisations, will be handing out pronoun badges to mark the day. The #MyPronounsAre pronoun badge campaign highlights the fact that you can’t assume someone’s gender identity and wearing a badge is a simple way of showing that you are a proud ally. This year I will be joining the campaign and wearing my badge with pride, I hope many others will too.
University of Brighton UNISON Branch Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator
Tips for being a trans ally:
- Listen to trans people, wherever you can get a trans person’s perspective on things.
- Challenge transphobia, don’t leave it to trans people to challenge discrimination.
- Educate yourself, there are loads of resources online around gender identity.
- Don’t assume people’s gender, don’t be afraid to ask someone their pronouns.