Companies urge UK Government to ‘make progress for the trans community’

Graham Robson September 15, 2020

A consortium of charities and organisations – Trans in the City, DIVA, Intertech, InterMediaUK, Clare Project, Mermaids, Cool2BTrans, BP Pride, MindOut, Gendered Intelligence and Stonewall – announced this week that close to 200 major UK employers have come together in a show of support for trans communities. To read the open letter, CLICK HERE

The brainchild of Bobbi Pickard, Founder of Trans in the City and Co-Chair of BP Pride, the campaign has seen Unilever, BP, British Army, University of Brighton, British Gas and Sky join LGBTQ+ publications, including Gscene, Pink News and DIVA, by adding their names to the public statement to say trans rights are human rights, and to highlight their support for trans colleagues, employees and customers. To see the full list, CLICK HERE

Many of these organisations (70) have also written to the Prime Minister directly to call on the UK Government to honour its commitment to protect trans people’s rights and reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).

Bobbi Pickard, Founder of Trans in the City and Co-Chair of BP Pride, said: ‘The campaign came about because I spoke as a Mermaid’s Trustee and Founder of Trans in the City at an event about the negative impact the implied changes the government were proposing to the Gender Recognition Act would have on trans and non binary people’s careers and lives. I mentioned, fairly strongly if I remember rightly, that an organisation saying they support trans people is not enough, they need to prove it and actually take some positive steps to support trans people. A discussion with the amazing Pedro Pina of Google, also on the panel, followed and we both quickly formed a core team with Mermaids, Trans in the City, BP Pride, Stonewall, InterTech,  InterMedia, Stop Funding Hate, Diva and LBTQ Women.

‘Everyone has had a rough year but trans/NB people especially with the GRA, huge and horrible assaults in the media and complete misrepresentation turning to blatant hatred from high profile people. We wanted to show that the reality for trans people isn’t negative – they are valued, valid and they can flourish in their careers and life. We wanted to show that huge global corporations and organisations really do support them to be themselves and value them as they value all diversities.

‘The campaign is going fabulously we aimed for 100 organisations and actually started yesterday with 136, that’s now over 160 and continues to rapidly grow. We’ll carry on, trans awareness and education for businesses is key to understand that the fabricated anti trans rhetoric is exactly that and that’s what we’ll continue to highlight.

‘Companies and organisations can come to us and get that information get that help and support to make their places of work safe and successful ones for trans and non binary people and we can make the world a better and more positive place for everyone.’

Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive of Stonewall, which campaigns for LGBTQ+ equality in the UKsaid: ‘We’re proud of all the business leaders who are ‘coming out’ for trans equality. All these companies are sending a powerful message to trans communities that leading businesses have their backs. Across the UK, corporate leaders are speaking up because they care about protecting and supporting their trans colleagues, customers, friends and family.

‘At a time when trans rights feel increasingly under threat, the diversity of all these businesses taking part today shows there is a wealth of support for trans people at the most senior levels of British industrial and cultural life. But we can’t be complacent. If we want to live in a world where every trans person can be themselves, each of us must use our voice to challenge transphobia and take action to create more inclusive communities.’

A spokesperson from Mermaids, the UK charity supporting transgender kids, young people and their families, said: ‘We believe #TransRightsAreHumanRights and we’re glad to see so many UK employers standing up for their trans employees, colleagues and customers. We’re also so proud of our trans colleagues and all the trans people we support. The future is bright.’

Katie Neeves from Cool2BTrans, which centres on supporting, educating and empowering, said: ‘Today is a VERY special day as global companies show support for trans people by saying that ‘Trans Rights Are Human Rights’ and ‘We value trans people as our employees, colleague and customers’’.

A spokesperson from MindOut, the LGBTQ+ mental health charity, said: ‘We are glad to see over 100 major companies have come together to show their support for trans equality. At MindOut we value our trans employees, volunteers and service users. #MindOutForEachOther.’

To show your support and see the full list of businesses who have signed up, CLICK HERE