The answer is, of course, “Yes”. Sadly, however, according to an article in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday 8th June some academics feel that this would impede free speech and “create a chilling effect on campus.” Kathleen Stock is a professor at Sussex University who has stated that such a policy is “repressive”. Professor Stock was a vocal opponent to the Government’s proposals to reform the Gender Recognition Act and presumably believes that it is perfectly in order to represent trans people negatively even when highlighting the inappropriate behaviour of just one individual who happens to be trans.
I was asked to comment and my reply was quoted:
‘Dr Jane Hamlin, president of The Beaumont Society, a transgender support group, said she did not believe such policies “harm debate or discussion”.
She said: “Even if one is being critical it shouldn’t be about the person being transgender – clearly it depends more on the actions of the individual or the comments they have made.
“Clearly if something is inappropriate that is reasonable to criticise the comment or the action, not the fact that it’s made by a trans person.”’
To read the article click here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/06/07/universitys-policy-sparks-backlash-saying-transgender-people/
The team responsible for ensuring that government digital services are built and designed to be as user-friendly as possible is inviting members of the public to test these services and provide feedback on their experiences. These services include immigration applications and passport renewals amongst others.
They are currently working on the online process involved in an individual changing their gender identity on their immigration record online. The Beaumont Society has been asked if we could assist in the recruitment drive for those who might be interested in participating and helping to improve the service.
They are seeking 10 – 20 people who:
- Have been through, or are planning to go through, gender transition.
- May need to change their gender identity details on formal and legal documents.
- Are non-UK EU citizens
- Are over 18 years of age.
They say their priority with the project is to ensure that these online processes work as efficiently and seamlessly as possible for the transgender and non-binary community in our country. The researchers are relatively flexible in travelling domestically or doing remote research, but their main offices are located in London, Corydon, Sheffield and Manchester. They are aiming to begin inviting in participants for research in mid-June. All participant information is treated with strict confidentiality and in line with GDPR. Participating in this research has no influence on a participant’s legal status.
If you would like further information contact Astrid Crowley, Research Operations Officer, Digital Data and Technology, Home Office
Mis-gendering trans people can cause a great deal of distress and embarrassment to all those involved. This can happen in any interaction, but is most likely during telephone conversations because there are no visual clues to assist. How do organisations that conduct at least some of their business by telephone ensure that all their customers are treated with respect and courtesy?
Beaumont Society member, Lindsay Dearman, took a great deal of trouble to contact 100 large businesses and public and private bodies – including a number of Members of Parliament – hoping to find examples of good practice of how these organisations train their staff who deal with the public through telephone conversations. We had hoped that these organisations would be so proud of their progressive and inclusive policies that we would be able to share the best practice with all relevant organisations throughout the country to the benefit of everyone.
Sadly, the results of the survey – which are published in the latest issue of the Beaumont Society’s members’ magazine – were a big disappointment. Only 19 of those contacted took the trouble to reply and of those some had not actually made the effort to read the survey – regretting that they were unable to help with our “fund-raising”! We were definitely not fund-raising. All we were trying to find out was whether the staff were given any instructions or guidelines for dealing with voices that did not match the stereotype for the person’s gender, and if so, what training or guidance was provided.We were also interested to know if they received any complaints about mis-gendering and what the policy for dealing with any complaints might be.
The Beaumont Society would still love to hear of examples of good practice that we could publicise to everyone’s benefit. If anyone knows of such good practice please contact our President, Jane Hamlin: firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you know of organisations that are insensitive to these issues, we would also like to hear about them so that we can draw their attention to the good practice.
Georgie Stone, who is a trans actress and advocate for gender diverse youth, will be the first transgender character in Neighbours, the long-running Australian TV soap opera. Georgie, who is 18, suggested the idea for introducing a trans character to the producers of the programme. A great deal of preparation and meetings were involved to ensure that the scripts “accurately integrated parts of her life story” into her character. She has previously starred in other popular Australian programmes.
The Beaumont Society is the longest established support group in the United Kingdom for transgender people and their families. The Society is a national mutual-help body run for and by the transgender community. We welcome all transgender people and their partners, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, creed or colour, and from nervous newcomers to those who are experienced and confident in their preferred gender.
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