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It’s basically all about respect.
Trans people do not want to receive special treatment but they do want to be treated with dignity by services that understand the issues associated with living a life with a trans identity and some of the specific challenges and issues encountered by trans people.
It is also important to remember that some trans people experience mental ill health that is completely separate from their gender identity and should be treated as such.
Here are some tips for services that will help them provide an excellent service for trans people…
- Always use the name and title (e.g. Mr, Mrs, Ms, Mx etc.) that the trans person wants to be called. If you are unsure about a person’s gender identity, or how they wish to be addressed, ask for clarification. Doing this shows a level of understanding of trans issues.
- Do not comment on a trans person’s appearance or ‘passability’ unless they specifically ask for your opinion.
- Do not confuse being trans with sexual orientation. It is a gender issue. Trans people can be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual or asexual.
- Under the Gender Recognition Act (UK) it is illegal to disclose someone’s trans status without prior consent or to anyone who does not explicitly need this information.
- Become knowledgeable about transgender issues. Get training on trans issues and know where to access resources.
- Remember that not all trans people are the same. Like everyone else, different trans people have different identities, experiences, needs, and interests.
- Welcome trans people by getting the word out about your services and displaying trans-positive information in your workplaces.
- Establish an effective workplace policy for addressing discriminatory comments about and behaviour towards trans people.