At Leeds Beckett we are committed to gender identity equality and value the diversity of our university community.
Our Code of Practice on Trans Equality and Gender Identity sets out our responsibilities for trans students and staff. We also provide guidance which outlines good practice to support staff who are transgender or who see their gender outside of the gender binary of male and female. We have developed guidance for supporting trans students, which outlines the ways in which the university can support a student who is transitioning and practicalities such as name changes.
It is up to the member of staff or student to choose whether to disclose their gender identity and to whom. We respect the confidentiality of all Trans staff and students and will not reveal information without the prior agreement of the individual. We provide guidance to support staff through transition and a personal support plan should be developed with the staff member. We ensure that staff undergoing surgery or attending identity clinics, voice therapy or hormone treatment specialists are given the time to do so. Similarly, the guidance for students will also include a support plan and provide information on time away from studies for the aforementioned procedures and appointments a transitioning student may require.
There is a dedicated contact person in Student Services to offer support and information to trans students at Leeds Beckett. Please contact Beth Fadden: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can get support with:
- Changing your official or 'known as' name, title or gender on your student record.
- Changing your e-mail address and student card.
- Communicating with your academic School with regards to preferred name or pronouns.
- Referral to external and internal organisations for peer support and information.
- Issues around accommodation, wellbeing or any other concerns.
The University has a number of gender-neutral toilets across both campuses. Where gendered toilets or changing facilities are provided, Trans staff, students and visitors are entitled to use the toilets and facilities according to their self-identified gender.
Our Rainbow Rose Forum is our LGBT network for matters related to sexual orientation equality and is open to all staff and students. The purpose of the Forum is:
- To provide a safe, confidential and supportive environment in which to discuss issues relating to sexual orientation including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) identity;
- To provide support and networking and share best practice across all equality strands;
- To assist in the monitoring and reporting on compliance with equality and diversity legislation and good practice;
- To contribute to the development of policies directly relating to equality and diversity, and those which indirectly affect equality and diversity issues through the equality impact assessment process.
It all feels complicated and I’m frightened of saying the wrong thing
Understanding gender identity and trans issues can be confusing at first. Nobody is expecting you to know everything right away and it’s ok to ask questions if the person you’re talking to is happy to answer them. Some trans people feel comfortable discussing their identity, some people don’t. If you want to find out more about the experiences of some trans people, you can hear them in their own words in these videos.
If you say the wrong thing by accident (which happens sometimes to most people), just apologise. Recognise you’ve got it wrong and move on. We’re all human and people slip up sometimes. As long as you have good intentions, most trans people will appreciate you acknowledging your blunder and help you get it right. It’s important that we have real, honest, respectful conversations.
What do deadnaming and misgendering mean?
Deadnaming is when people refer to a trans person using the name they had before they transitioned. Misgendering is when someone refers to a trans person using the gender they were assigned at birth instead of their real gender.
When done deliberately, they’re both deeply hurtful to trans people. If you hear people do this, stand up as an ally and challenge the person saying it, if it’s safe for you to do so.
What can I do to be an ally to trans people?
More and more people and organisations are recognising the importance of stepping up and being a vocal ally to trans people. Prominent individuals in politics and in the media are already doing it, as are organisations ranging from Lloyds Banking Group, to Tesco, to top-ranked law firms.
But there are also lots of small steps you can take to be a trans ally. Whether it’s online or in real life, simply listening to - and supporting - trans voices can make a huge difference.
But what about public toilets?
Trans people can and have been using the toilets that match their gender for years without issue. This is another media-generated ‘debate’, and it’s actually having a negative effect on many cis people too; people whose appearance doesn’t fit the stereotypes of male or female are increasingly being challenged for simply going into a public loo.
Having facilities that everyone can use – toilets and changing rooms with private space – is really sensible and many businesses and institutions have been taking that approach without incident for a long time now.
What does ‘cis’ mean?
Cis is short for ‘cisgender’ which means somebody whose gender identity matches the sex they were given at birth. Basically, it means ‘not trans’.