Create A Trans-Friendly CommunityNovember 11, 2022
As the transgender awareness movement continues to grow and become more visible, it’s important for communities to create safe spaces that are supportive and welcoming for people who identify as transgender.
By taking these steps, we can create an inclusive environment for all, and send a strong message that discrimination against transgender individuals will not be tolerated.
1. What is transgender discrimination?
Transgender discrimination is a form of discrimination that is based on a person’s gender identity or expression. This can include refusing to hire someone who is transgender, denying them a promotion, or subjecting them to different working conditions or harassment. Transgender discrimination can be a problem because, for example, in the workplace, it can lead to a hostile work environment, lower productivity, and high turnover. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian and transgender employees.
2. How to make your community be more trans-friendly
There are many ways that your organization can create a trans-friendly working environment. I encourage you to take initiative and be creative when incorporating any DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) policy. Some ways to make your workplace more trans-friendly include:
- There are a many ways that transgender people can describe their identities. Understanding the words and labels people use encourages respect and understanding.
- Be kind. Remember to treat others with dignity and respect, even if you do not agree with them. Remember the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you would like to be treated.
- Use the correct pronouns and preferred names when referring to people who identify as transgender. This shows respect and helps create a feeling of inclusion.
- If a person is not sure which identity labels fit them best, give them the time to figure it out for themselves. The terms or language a person prefers may change over time, and that is normal.
- Do not make assumptions about an employee’s gender identity. If you’re unsure, ask them how they would like to be identified.
- Remember language is important and as our society develops some terms become outdated.
- Gender can be viewed as a spectrum and transgender, non-binary and gender queer are all acceptable terms used by people who identify on this spectrum.
- Create policies that specifically protect transgender employees from discrimination. This sends a strong message that your community is committed to inclusion.
- Educate yourself and your community members about transgender issues. This can help create a more understanding and supportive environment.
3. The benefits of creating a trans-inclusive community
The benefits of creating a trans-inclusive community are many. According to Harvard Business Review, “Trans people often experience stigma and discrimination, hostility from others, and pressure to “manage” their identities in social settings.” Inclusion can lead to higher morale, increased productivity, and a more positive community centered environment for all. Additionally, transgender people who feel supported are less likely to experience stress and are more likely to thrive as productive and contributing members of society.
4. Resources for people who want to learn more about transgender inclusion
There are a number of resources available for people who want to learn more about transgender inclusion. The Human Rights Campaign offers a helpful guide for employers, and the National Center for Transgender Equality provides resources for employees.
Additionally, there are many books and articles that can help educate people about transgender issues.
If you have any questions about creating a trans-friendly environment, please feel free to contact PRIDE Corpus Christi for further information. Together, we will create an inclusive world for all!
About the Authors
Lisa Perry: Miss Gay Corpus Christi USofA 2021, Lisa Perry, is a Property Manager and Area Coordinator with Move It Storage. She has a background in dental assisting and dental office management. She is a leader and activist in the trans community. Lisa is also a certified peer mediator and self taught costume designer. She describes herself as a people person and spends her time volunteering with community theatre, philanthropy, and raising her chihuahua, Roxie.
Liza Wisner: Award-winning television personality, Liza Wisner, is a talent development expert and the curator of change agent training, including Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion thought leadership. Professionally trained in computer science and educational technology, Liza has built an incredible career and has turned her love of automation into a fulfilling life, strategizing and managing learning, diversity, inclusion, and automation initiatives. Find out more about Liza at www.lizawisner.com