More trans people are hiding their transness at work now than five years ago, according to a new report on trans discrimination.
Almost two thirds (65%) of trans people do not feel comfortable revealing their trans status at work. Trans charity Mermaids, whose Trans at Work directory compiles stories from trans people across the UK, said the survey “unfortunately doesn’t come as a shock”, given the current prevalence of transphobia in the UK.
The Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) LGBTQ+ Workers Forum is made up of staff from across the city who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer and/or gender diverse or intersex. The Forum recognises that there are different level of comfort in being ‘out’ at work, and that can be different for different teams working in different areas.
In a normal year, the Forum would find ways of platforming and supporting colleagues to celebrate TDOV, but with most of us working from home, and interacting on-screen, they are suggesting that we can show our support and allyship for trans and non-binary colleagues with a virtual pronoun campaign. This was suggested by the city’s Trans Sub Group as a way of making online spaces more inclusive.
Like the previous pronoun badge campaign, this is not just for trans and non-binary staff, but for all staff and anyone else who has enjoyed wearing a pronoun badge and helping to raise awareness of inclusion. By raising awareness of pronoun use, gender identities and simple ways of being respectful and inclusive, the Forum believes it can help reduce inequalities across BHCC and also help make the virtual spaces we are all interacting in as inclusive and welcoming as physical spaces.
The idea is simple, just like wearing a pronoun badge use a virtual background during online meetings, with the pronouns you use on it. The Forum has created a selection for people to choose from, with different colours backgrounds and styles, including a few virtual backgrounds which are a simple celebration of TDOV.
The Forum is inviting all BHCC colleagues, anyone who works in the NHS or any statutory body, or anyone who would like to show their support for Trans Day of Visibility to use a background, and change the virtual work space and to consider using the pronoun backgrounds when in meetings in the future. You can also use them for social or family interactions.
To see and download the virtual background of your choice, CLICK HERE. The Forum is encouraging people to share them on social media and with friends and colleagues.