Changing Your Name In The UK

One of the best things about being trans in the UK is that changing your name is a doddle.

All you need to do is print out a sheet of A4 that says your name used to be such-and-such, it is now such-and-such, and you require everyone to use this new name in future. Then you get two friends to sign it and voila! You’ve legally changed your name. No solicitors. No courts. No registration. That is literally all it takes.

This sheet of paper is called a Deed Poll.  A good website for generating your deed poll is https://freedeedpoll.org.uk/ .  There are other websites which charge for the pleasure of having your deed poll registered, or some other service, but those really aren’t necessary.

Pro tip: Print multiple copies and get them signed in case one gets lost. Also, some places require your original deed poll rather than a photocopy so it’s handy to have more copies spare.

Where Can I Use My New Deed Poll?

Practically anywhere. A deed poll is all that is needed to update your details with:

  • Banks
  • Energy Companies
  • Phone Contracts
  • Broadband
  • HMRC
  • NHS
  • Driving Licence
  • University/college
  • Council

NHS & Gender Identity Clinic

Changing your name with the NHS is easy, just show them your deed poll, but changing your gender marker is done in an odd way. It is not possible to update your medical records with a new gender, so they have to create a new NHS number for you with your updated gender, and then transfer your details across to the new file. Most GPs should be able to arrange this for you.

Be sure the contact the Gender Identity Clinic AND your GP about the change in name or gender since these two places don’t share information, and if the GIC has out of date info, it could affect the waiting list.

Exam Results

Your exam board can update your old exam results as well. If you went to a gendered school (eg all girls or all boys school), the exam board can even update the school you studied at so your exam certificates don’t out you.  They may need additional ID to do this, but with your deed poll you can get that ID. More information about this can be found at https://www.aqa.org.uk/contact-us/past-results-and-lost-certificates

Passports

Passports are a little trickier. It is simple enough to change your name with a deed poll (for a fee), but changing that pesky gender marker is more difficult.

To change the gender marker on your passport, you need a letter from your GP or the GIC stating the following

This is to confirm that my patient previously know as [insert patient’s old name and date of birth], is currently undergoing gender reassignment and as part of the process has changed their name by statutory declaration to [insert patient’s current name] on [date of the change].

[insert patient’s current name] now lives as [insert patient’s gender] and this change is intended to be permanent.

There is also the usual fee for updating a passport. More information about updating your passport can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/applying-for-a-passport-information-for-transgender-and-transsexual-customers

Birth Certificates

Birth Certificates are the only thing you need a Gender Recognition Certificate to update.

To acquire a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) you need to have been living “in-role” for at least two years, and have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria. You can then apply through these forms : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/applying-for-a-passport-information-for-transgender-and-transsexual-customers

There is a charge of £140 and sadly there is no guarantee that you will be successful in your application. It is really hit and miss. However, the government is currently reviewing the Gender Recognition Act which could make it a lot easier for transgender people to update the gender on their birth certificates. This could be some time in 2019, but the government has a lot on their hands at the moment so I doubt they are rushing this.

Having a birth certificate in your gender will also let you update your gender with HMRC. This is important because it will decide your pension age, and if you were to die, your birth certificate could have the wrong gender on it.

Unfortunately, there is still no legal recognition of non-binary people in the UK and so I don’t believe there is anywhere that can change a gender maker to anything other than M or F. This is hopefully going to change with the review of the Gender Recognition Act.

Flamingos Coffee House

Flamingos is a brand new LGBT coffee house in central Leeds! They’ve been in touch with us in the run up to their opening to ensure the space is inclusive for everyone.  Soon the staff will have their own pronoun badges.

We’re really happy to have a new social space for the LGBT+ community that is away from the bars and clubs. 🙂 They have delicious tea, coffee, and food including loads of vegan options and a Rainbow Cake of which the proceeds will be going to a different community focused LGBT group or charity every month.

The toilet is 100% gender neutral and accessible.

 

The Leeds Binder Library Is Back!

Hello everyone!

We are so so excited to say that gc2b have sent us 34 binders!! We want to say a massive thank you to gc2b and announce that our binder library now holds binders in every size so if anyone needs one to swap or simply to have do let us know.

Again a massive thank you to gc2b!

Lush Leeds

Lush are vocal and active supporters of the trans community.  There are many articles on their website in support of trans rights.

Let’s Talk About Gender
https://uk.lush.com/article/lets-talk-about-gender#comments

“Transgender and non-binary people are our neighbors, our friends, our coworkers and our classmates.”
https://www.lushusa.com/story?cid=article_trans-rights-are-human-rights

How to Be a Trans Ally – A Beginner’s Guide
https://www.lushusa.com/article_how-to-be-trans-ally.html

They also do fundraising for trans charities, including TransLeeds, and have donated loads of their fragrant goodies to the trans community in Leeds.

Yorkshire Dance

Yorkshire Dance is a dance charity on St Peter’s Square opposite the BBC Building.

They have gender neutral toilets available and the building is accessible.  Their changing rooms are gendered however they have signs on the doors saying that they respect gender diversity and anyone is free to use the facilities they feel most comfortable in.

They have had trans awareness training provided by Mermaids and the Essentials Workshop run by TransLeeds is hosted there.

Their job application forms include multiple gender options including non binary, though I don’t think their system currently supports the Mx title.

They are part of Performing Gender and run the Gender Moves projects which explore gender and sexuality and interpreting them through dance.

TransLeeds Rating System

The TransLeeds Rating System is used to objectively assess how trans inclusive a venue or organisation is and identifies areas that can be improved.

Gender Neutral Facilities

Gender neutral facilities, such as toilets, are important to many in the community.  For non binary people especially this is an important issue, but even for binary trans people, gender neutral facilities remove the fear of being accused of using “the wrong one”.  It is also beneficial to families.

Also, if your organisation records gender or titles, are they inclusive of non binary people? (eg Mx title and gender options besides male and female)

 The venue has gendered facilities and does not have gender neutral titles (eg Mx) or supports more than two genders
 The venue has gender neutral facilities available or supports gender neutral titles and more than two genders
 The venue has gender neutral facilities throughout and supports gender neutral titles and more than two genders

Trans Inclusion Policy

Although it is great when trans people are mentioned in an organisation’s equality policies, it is so much better to have a dedicated inclusion policy for trans people.  A dedicated trans inclusion policy can go into detail about the process of updating personal information, support for trans employees, safeguarding, confidentiality, and medical leave.  Having a trans inclusion policy let’s your staff and customers know that you are a trans inclusive organisation.

 No trans inclusion policy
 Partial trans inclusion policy (may be within other policies)
 Dedicated trans inclusion policy

Equality & Diversity Monitoring

43% of employers in the UK are unsure if they would hire a transgender person.  33% think they are less likely to hire a transgender person. Only 8% believe trans people should have equal rights in employment. ( https://www.crosslandsolicitors.com/site/cases/transgender-discrimination-in-UK-workplaces ).

It is vital that employers keep records of the number of trans people applying for jobs, and how many are hired.

 Does not record transgender people in equality and diversity data
 Records transgender equality and diversity data

Trans Awareness Training

Are your workers aware of transgender issues and know how to be respectful? It is surprising how often people don’t know the difference between a trans man and a trans woman, or might know nothing at all about non binary people. Only 8% of employers in the UK say trans people should have equal rights in employment, despite this being included in the Equalities Act since 2010.

At this point in time trans awareness training is essential so that trans people can be confident that they will be welcomed, respected and supported by your organisation.

TransLeeds runs a monthly Trans Awareness Workshop in Leeds that is open to every one. We can also provide in house training tailored to your organisation’s needs.

 Does not have trans awareness training.
 Has trans awareness training included in other training material, or training is available but not facilitated by a specialist group, or a proportion of staff have trans awareness training.
 Trans awareness training is provided to all staff by a specialist group or organisation.

Friend of the Community

Organisation that have gone above and beyond in supporting the trans community in Leeds. They may be consistently outspoken in support of trans people, organise events for the trans community, or support the work of transgender charities.

 No data or rating
 Friend of the Community
 Hero of the Community

Geek Retreat Leeds

Geek Retreat is the boardgaming cafe near the Corn Exchange and are supporters of TransLeeds.  They host our monthly boardgaming event and collect donations for us. They also have flags hanging of various genders and sexualities.

They have lift access to every floor. Their bathrooms are gendered.  Their staff haven’t received trans awareness training though they have been great with us.

They have a great menu and a whole range of vegan options and

Yorkshire Mesmac

Yorkshire Mesmac have been active and vocal supporters of TransLeeds and the trans community.

They host many of TransLeeds events and have provided invaluable support to us over the years.

They have gender neutral facilities (labelled “toilets with urinals” & “toilets with kitchen”) and a lift for accessing every floor.

They provide free STI testing to the community at every one of our mid month support groups.

They don’t have trans awareness training or an explicit trans inclusion policy, however they are very aware of the issues within the community.