BHT’s transgender awareness trainer Ryan Gingell blogs about the challenges faced by the trans community, and how a relatively simple change can make a huge difference to people’s lives
We all have some experience of gender regardless of what path our gender identity takes. For most, this is a straight forward journey with few hurdles to overcome. But for those whose gender identity does not correlate with that they were assigned at birth, it can be a rocky road.
Trans people are significantly more likely to experience prejudice, exclusion, difficulties with accommodation, unemployment and be subjected to hate crime. Having delivered training in this area over the last four years it saddens me that there has only been a small reduction in the difficulties faced by the trans community.
Did you know?
A survey found that 48% of trans people under 26 said they had attempted suicide, and 30% said they had done so in the past year, while 59% said they had at least considered doing so.
(PACE RaRE Study 2014)
The psychosocial experiences of trans people can be wide and varied, but several themes remerge:
- Mental health challenges
- Suicide and suicidal ideation
So where do we go from here?
I believe one of the most powerful tools we have as human beings is language. Our words have a huge impact and in more circumstances than we know. Language is inextricably linked to gender identity; the way we communicate may consciously or subconsciously be linked to what a person’s gender identity is or is perceived to be.
The words we use can make a trans person’s day become more positive immediately. By using the chosen name, pronouns and honorific of a trans person we support their journey and validate their identity.
This is a small drop in big ocean but hugely important nonetheless.
In BHT’s Transgender Awareness training we will explore this in a broader sense, and cover a variety of other areas in relation to trans people and the journeys they take, and how, as professionals, you can offer support and provide an inclusive service.
Transgender Awareness takes place on Tuesday 25th October. You can book your place by clicking the following link: Transgender Awareness training