Telling Your GP You’re Trans

This is a guide for trans people going to the GP to tell them you are trans and to initiate any treatment or referrals you will need as a trans person. This information and guidance is based on my experience as a non-binary trans person within the NHS (UK) specifically the North West of England. I believe this advice can be applied and used for any trans person in a GP appointment, but what you want out of the appointment will vary on your personal transition needs.

I have tried to make this guide as accessible as possible, the most important sections are in bold. If you have any suggestions or feedback on how to make this guide more accessible please contact me at noterfs@gmx.co.uk

Here is a link from a Leeds based charity called TransLeeds, this link will lead you to a webpage titled ‘Guide for GPs Treating Transgender Patients’. I suggest you print this and take it to your appointment, the more information you can provide your GP with the more they will see you are well informed on the topic and know your rights within the NHS and what treatment you should be given access to. If you do not have access to a printer you can take along the webpage link and ask the doctor to google it and print it themself.

http://transleeds.lgbt/guide-for-gps-treating-transgender-patients/

Here is a link for a rating website which shows Trans friendly doctors: https://transfigurations.org.uk/trans-friendly-doctors

(you can also rate your own GP)

In my experience many doctors are not well educated in trans issues or what treatment the NHS can actually provide transgender patients with. As your doctor it’s their responsibility to educate themself as that GP will be eventually responsible for monitoring their patients transition and administering hormone treatment after assessment by the Gender Services (If that’s a route you want to take). You should stress this responsibility to the doctor.

If a doctor is rude to you or dismissive, although it may seem stressful you can easily switch doctors and you should. You should also file a complaint if you think a GP has treated you badly or inappropriately. You deserve respect and fair treatment, your gender identity is not a hassle and you should not be made to feel that way. These appointments can be so nerve wracking and emotionally exhausting to think about because of expected negative reactions, hence being put off booking the appointment.

Here’s some quick tips for prep:

  • Take a friend(s) or advocate with you to the appointment. If physical and emotional support is needed it’s okay to bring people with you to back you up or even speak for you. Try reaching out to local trans charities if you have nobody you can bring with you to an appointment, even ask in a private Facebook trans group and ask a trans user to come with you in solidarity (obviously be safe when meeting people off the internet).
  • When making the appointment tell the receptionist / doctor it’s for a GIC Referral in advance so they have time to read up on the process and familiarise themselves with the referral forms.
  • If your anxiety is too much to speak you can pre-prepare a letter and read from that or directly give it to the GP to read.
  • Write a list or document in the week leading up to the appointment how your dysphoria affects you (Mentally, Physically, Socially, Sexually, Relationships)

E.g My dysphoria stops me from being able to leave the house, get dressed, look in a mirror which then affects my mental health, I become extremely anxious and depressed, isolated which can lead to suicidal thoughts.

Everyone’s mental health intersects in different personal ways, this is just an example but it is important you can vocalise how your gender dysphoria effects you in these areas so your GP can note down how it affects you on file so this information can be shared with the GIC and reflected upon when thinking about desired routes to help you.

  • Say you have been living in your ‘acquired gender’ for as long as possible including pronouns, the longer the better. They don’t check to my knowledge or require evidence. This shows them you are ‘serious’ about your gender which is a bullshit standard to have to submit to and extremely gatekeeping which is a sad reality of the current medical view of trans patients identities. If factors like safety and not being out to family, jobwise or socially play into you being unable to be openly living in your gender identity that’s fine, tell the doctor this. You are not less trans because you are not socially out.
  • You can change your name on the GP Practices System. Ask for your name to be changed from your deadname. You can also choose the title (MR/MS/MX). This is doable without a legal name change via deed poll I did it very easily. This should make going to appointments less stressful as the staff won’t deadname and misgender you.
  • Listen to your favorite music and get pumped before the appointment, you are transgender and it’s okay, your identity is valid and you deserve to be respected by a GP and to start your journey whatever that entails.

TEMPLATE FOR GP APPOINTMENT

TELLING YOUR GP YOUR TRANS

I [insert name here] am transgender, I use [pronouns] and want to be referred to [insert preferred GIC if you have one] Gender Identity Clinic.

My gender dysphoria effects me in these ways:

[list effects on your mental health / physical health / relationships and social interactions]

Discuss your aims and needs and how you want to progress through the NHS as a transgender person.

Remember to ask for your name and title to be changed on the GP system. You do not legally have to have changed your name to have it changed on the system.

The doctor should request for your bloods to be tested if you are requesting hormones (for the GIC) a bridging prescription or are already illegally on hormones.

A doctor should not judge you or your gender identity based on how you present physically, you are not less legitimately trans if you are for example a trans man and present femme do not let these regressive views deter you from getting the help and access to services you need. Doctors should also be aware that non-binary is included and recognised by the GIC.

What to ask for :

If you are wanting to medically transition you need to be referred to the GIC (Gender Identity Clinic). Medically transitioning can include having hormone treatment or gender reassignment surgeries.

  • You don’t need to know what dosages you want or if you want hormones yet.
  • You don’t need to have decided if you want surgery yet.
  • You do need to be referred to the GIC so you can talk to someone and have information about what is available through the NHS for transgender people.
  • You can ask for a ‘Bridging Prescription’ for hormone treatment.
  • You can ask for your name to be changed on the GP System and for your pronouns to be used and recorded on file.

Legally a doctor can prescribe a ‘Bridging Prescription’ which bridges the gap/wait time a patient faces before they are seen by the GIC to begin treatment for gender dysphoria. Many doctors are uncomfortable with prescribing bridging prescriptions as often they are not educated or knowledgable about prescribing hormones which puts doctors out of their comfort zone. If a doctor rejects you from getting a Bridging Prescription they legally have to refer you to an endocrinologist. Endocrinologists wait times are much shorter than the GIC wait times, in the North West currently (oct 2018) the wait times are 3-6 months. A standard UK GIC wait time is 18-24 months (oct 2018) from receiving the referral. You can get updated info on GIC wait times on the Gender Identity Clinic webpage under ‘appointments’ or via this link https://gic.nhs.uk/appointments/waiting-times/

Sometimes Reddit or Yahoo or social media will have updated GIC wait times from people on the waitlist but it is best to ask your doctor or use the official website for a estimate on wait times.

The endocrinologist can prescribe you hormones if they see it suitable to. Usually people have anything from 1 to a few appointments with the endocrinologist before receiving hormones. Please note the endocrinologist does not have to legally give you hormones.

SELF MEDICATION OF HORMONE TREATMENT

You can get and self medicate with hormones illegally but you must tell your doctor and by law they are required to monitor your blood levels. Do tell your doctor as it’s extremely dangerous to self medicate with hormones without having your blood levels regularly checked. The doctor cannot report you to the police for you self medicating illegally as it would breach patient-doctor confidentiality.

INFO TO TELL TO GPS ABOUT SELF MEDICATION IN SUPPORT OF PRESCRIBING YOU A BRIDGING PRESCRIPTION:

Royal College of Psychiatrists state: “Patients may opt to self-medicate with hormones and/or anti-androgens so it is useful to ask them directly about this as it can adversely impact on their health and wellbeing. They may ask you to monitor them for side effects including checking blood tests and this is something that should be negotiated between you and the patient. Under the Royal College of Psychiatrists guidelines patients presenting on illicit hormones can be issued a bridging prescription by their GP while they await assessment at a Gender Identity Service. Advice can always be sought from the Gender Service or Endocrinology”.

– Good practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria [Royal College of Psychiatrists]. Source: TransLeeds ‘Guide for GPs Treating Transgender Patients’ http://transleeds.lgbt/guide-for-gps-treating-transgender-patients/

The medical practitioner or specialist must consider the risks of harm to the patient by not prescribing hormones in these circumstances. The WPATH standards of care (World Professional Association for Transgender Health, 2011) suggest the prescribing of a ‘bridging’ prescription on an interim basis for a few months while the patient is referred to a gender specialist and an endocrinologist.

A GP or other medical practitioner involved in the patient’s care may prescribe ‘bridging’ endocrine treatments as part of a holding and harm reduction strategy while the patient awaits specialised endocrinology or other gender identity treatment and/or confirmation of hormone prescription elsewhere or from patient records. Patients may face a long wait before their first appointment with a gender specialist. This can be very distressing and their mental health may suffer as a consequence. The risk of self-harm and suicide for trans people is much greater than in the general population, and delay in accessing medical care substantially increases these risks. If your patient is distressed, or you believe them to be at risk from self-harm, you should offer them support and consider the need for referral to local mental health services.

Some trans people – after many years of suppression, and facing continued deterioration in their mental health while waiting for a specialist appointment – become desperate for medical intervention and may turn to self-medication with products bought on-line from an unregulated source, without prior medical assessment or supervision. -From the UK Good Practice Guidelines For The Assessment And Treatment Of Adults With Gender Dysphoria (RCPsych Report CR181, October 2013).

These guidelines were developed by a multidisciplinary panel, including patient representatives. They are endorsed by: British Association of Urological Surgeons, British Psychological Society, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Surgeons.

FOR GPS:

How to initiate Hormone Therapy

Good practice guidelines for the assessment and treatment of adults with gender dysphoria –[ Appendix 4 – Royal College of Psychiatrists]

Women

Monitoring tests

Patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, take regular exercise, have a sensible diet and consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Baseline

Blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, fasting blood glucose, lipid profile, serum free thyroxine T4, thyroid- stimulating hormone, testosterone, oestradiol (less than 100 pmol/l) and prolactin (50–400 mU/l).

Monitoring

On a 6-monthly basis for 3 years and then yearly depending on clinical assessment and results. Provision of prescription is contingent on patients understanding the risks and benefits that may result due to the need to take the following tests: blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function test, fasting glucose, lipid profile, testosterone, serum oestradiol 24 h after a tablet or 48 h after a patch (levels should be in the upper half of the normal follicular range, 300–400 pmol/l) and prolactin (less than 400 mU/l).

Medication

In the first instance, a specialist clinician will provide the prescription or, if the GP is in agreement with collaborative care prescribing and the patient attends a gender specialist service, this will be supervised by the gender specialist who has obtained valid consent. Typical prescriptions would be for:

oestradiol (1–6 mg orally daily)

OR

oestradiol gel (two to four measures daily) or patches (50–150 mcg, two to three times per week), particularly for patients over 40 years (lower risk of thrombosis). Dosage of oestrogen depends on the results of monitored circulating oestradiol levels (see p. 34);

goserelin 3.6 mg implant subcutaneously once every 4 weeks or 10.8 mg implant once every 12 weeks, or an alternative gonadotrophin- releasing hormone agonist – inhibits secretion of pituitary gonadotrophin and testosterone secretion.

Additional therapies, which may be helpful, include:

cyproterone acetate (50–100 mg orally daily) – it is much less satisfactory than goserelin;

Dianette (1 tablet daily for 21 days; repeat after 7 gap days), which contains cypoterone acetate and an oestrogen;

spironolactone (100–400mg orally daily) may be required for additional androgen receptor blockade – long-term use associated with liver dysfunction and possibly hepatoma risk (animal data);

progesterone is not usually indicated since no biologically significant progesterone receptor sites exist for biological males.

Medroxyprogesterone acetate (100mg orally twice daily) or dydrogesterone (10mg orally twice daily) has been used;

finasteride (5 mg orally daily) – blocks conversion of testosterone (which may derive from adrenal androgens in the absence of secreting testes) to the more active dihydrotestosterone. It can discourage male pattern hair loss and testosterone-dependent body hair growth.

Men

Monitoring Tests

Patients should be encouraged to stop smoking, take regular exercise, have a sensible diet and consume no more than 14 units of alcohol per week.

Baseline

Blood pressure, full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver function tests fasting glucose, lipid profile, serum free thyroxine T4, thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin (less than 400mU/l) and serum oestradiol and testosterone.

Monitoring

On a 6-monthly basis for 3 years and then yearly if well, depending on clinical assessment and results. Provision of prescription is contingent on patients understanding the risks and benefits that may result due to the need to take the following tests: blood pressure, full blood count (haemoglobin and haematocrit), urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, fasting glucose, lipid profile, serum oestradiol (for adequacy of suppression less than 70pmol/l) and prolactin (less than 400mU/l).

Serum testosterone should be at or below lower end of normal range (<10nmol/L) just before next dose is due to avoid accumulation or inadequate dosage. If on oral testosterone, measure dyhydrotestosterone levels 3–4h after a dose.

Medication

Goserelin 3.6mg implant subcutaneously once every 4 weeks or 10.8mg pellet subcutaneously once every 12 weeks.

Testosterone enantate or Sustanon (mixed testosterone ester) 250–500mg intramuscularly every two to six weeks depending on serum testosterone levels (see above).

OR

Testogel (50mg/5g gel once daily – occasionally two doses are required), rubbed into the shoulders or loins after shower or bath.

OR

Testosterone undecanoate 120–160mg/day orally or 1g intramuscularly every 3 months.

 

**This Royal College of Psychiatrists guide does not include non-binary / gender fluid / agender people and is very binary when referring to trans identities and I apologise for that. If you identify yourself as one of the above not mentioned identities you can align yourself with whatever treatment option fits you above.

GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC REFERRAL

Once you have stated to your doctor you are transgender and want to start medically transitioning your doctor should refer you to a Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) there are currently eight GIC’s in the UK (oct 2018). Most likely your GP will refer you to your closest GIC. You can request a specific GIC, most people will request the GIC with the current shortest wait time. Beware the GIC wait times can fluctuate and you need to take into account travel costs when selecting a GIC.

  1. Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic, London
  2. Leeds Gender Identity Clinic, Leeds
  3. Northampton Gender Identity Clinic, Daventry
  4. Northern Region Gender Dysphoria Service, Newcastle
  5. Nottingham Centre for Gender Dysphoria, Nottingham
  6. Porterbrook Clinic Gender Identity Service, Sheffield
  7. The Laurels Gender Identity Clinic, Exeter
  8. The Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation

Here is a link to the locations and addresses of the current UK GIC’s: https://www.gires.org.uk/nhs-gender-identity-clinics-england/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-find-an-nhs-gender-identity-clinic/

I will update this PDF as I continue on my journey as a trans person through the NHS. I am currently awaiting my first endocrinologist appointment and I’m on the waiting list for Sheffield GIC. I hope this guide has been informative and helpful.

Sending solidarity and love to all of my trans siblings.

Written by Eli Flint 16/10/18

noterfs@gmx.co.uk

 

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!

Reform of the Gender Recognition Act : Response and Guidance

Olivia Thomas, Outreach Officer, TransLeeds

Link to the consultation website:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reform-of-the-gender-recognition-act-2004

Various organisations have offered guidance on filling out the consultation. I mainly used the Stonewall and NUS guides.

Link to Stonewall Guidance:
https://www.stonewall.org.uk/gender-recognition-act

Link to NUS Guidance:
https://www.nusconnect.org.uk/resources/gra-consultation-guidance-england-and-wales

Section 1 – Your Details

This should be self explanatory. Fill in some brief details about yourself or the organisation you represent. You have to provide an email address to fill in the consultation.

 

Questions 1 and 2 – Experiences of Trans Respondents

Question 1: If you are a trans person, have you previously applied, or are you currently applying, for a Gender Recognition Certificate?

No

If yes, please tell us about your experience of the process. If no, please tell us why you have not applied?:

The current process for applying for a GRC is demeaning, expensive and fails to recognise non-binary people or children. I refuse to submit my gender for adjudication by an anonymous panel. I refuse to submit to a process that doesn’t recognise my non-binary siblings. I refuse to submit to a process that requires psychiatric medical reports in order for my gender to be recognised.

Question 2: If you are a trans person, please tell us what having Gender Recognition Certificate means, or would mean, to you.

Having a gender recognition certificate would mean that my gender is legally recognised. It would alter my day to day life very little as all of my documents – passport, driving licence – accurately state my gender. However it would allow my gender to be updated on my birth certificate and allow my gender to be accurately recognised should I marry in the future.

Questions 3 and 4 – Medical Reports

Question 3: Do you think there should be a requirement in the future for a diagnosis of gender dysphoria?

No

Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

Not all trans people have gender dysphoria, seek treatment for it or are able to get a diagnosis from a recognised clinician. Requiring a diagnosis prevents these people from having their gender legally recognised.

Question 4: Do you also think there should be a requirement for a report detailing treatment received?

No

Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

The medical reports are often difficult or expensive to acquire. For people who have transitioned long ago, transitioned whilst living abroad, or who transitioned without seeking NHS treatment the medical reports may be impossible to attain. Requiring medical reports prevents these people accessing a GRC. Some trans people may not be able to have certain medical treatments due to other health conditions. Some may opt not to undergo certain treatments. There should be no discrimination for people who do not receive medical treatments. The detail of any treatment received should be irrelevant for recognising a person’s gender.

Question 5 – Evidence

Question 5: (A) Do you agree that an applicant should have to provide evidence that they have lived in their acquired gender for a period of time before applying?

No

Please explain the reasons for your answer. :

It may not be possible for trans people to provide evidence of having lived as our acquired gender. Due to discrimination at home or at work some people may not have been able to live in their acquired gender before applying. There is no set criteria for what living as your acquired gender means – especially for non-binary people – so how can it be judged. There is no way to prove a persons gender by how they live. Requiring this would introduce an unnecessary level of gatekeeping into the system.

Documentation such as utility bills or payslips may be hard to obtain from people living in shared accommodation, from young people or those who are out of work. Requiring documentation excludes people from applying especially those people who suffer from financial hardship or live in insecure housing.

(B) If you answered yes to (A), do you think the current evidential options are appropriate, or could they be amended?:

Not Answered

(D) If you answered no to (A), should there be a period of reflection between making the application and being awarded a Gender Recognition Certificate?:

No there should be no period of reflection. Trans people have typically spent much time thinking about coming out and considering the ramifications of doing this. There is no need to subject us to a further delay in the process. There is no delay for reflection when trans people change our gender on passports or driving licences, why should there be one for changing the gender on our birth certificate?

Question 6 – Statutory Declaration

Question 6: (A) Do you think this requirement should be retained, regardless of what other changes are made to the gender recognition system?

No

Please explain the reasons for your answer.:

Statutory declarations carry criminal penalties for fraudulent use. This could hypotetically be used to maliciously prosecute trans people for not “living as their acquired gender.” Even if such prosecutions were very unlikely to happen the implicit threat of criminal prosecution might put trans people off applying. Having a statutory declaration may also limit people from applying for multiple GRCs for example if they originally apply as a binary trans person and later want to apply again as non-binary.

The criminal penalties of statutory declarations are unlikely to put off fraudulent applications but are likely to put off genuine trans applicants.

(C) If you answered no to (A), do you think there should be any other type of safeguard to show seriousness of intent?:

No. Why is there a need for safeguards simply to change the legal gender on a birth certificate? People who are intending to commit crimes by fraudulently changing their gender would not be put off by signing a statutory declaration and in many cases would not need to. Therefore providing additional safeguards offers no protection against fraudulent applications and merely serves to put in place additional barriers to trans people. A simple statement of intent, similar to a deed poll name change should be sufficient.

Question 7 – Spousal Consent

Question 7: The Government is keen to understand more about the spousal consent provisions for married persons in the Gender Recognition Act. Do you agree with the current provisions?

No

Please explain the reasons for your answer. If you think the provisions should change, how do you think they should be altered?:

Requiring spousal consent gives a spouse control over their partner. If a spouse is unhappy with a partner changing their legal gender then they should file for divorce. They should not have the power to prevent a trans person from having their gender legally recognised.

The spousal veto should be removed completely as anything which allows other people to interfere in a trans person having their gender recognised is discrimination.

Question 8 – The Cost of Legal Gender Recognition

Question 8: (A) Do you think the fee should be removed from the process of applying for legal gender recognition?

Yes

(C) What other financial costs do trans individuals face when applying for a gender recognition certificate and what is the impact of these costs?:

There are costs associated with accessing medical reports which are not provided for free by the NHS gender identity clinics. There are costs for solicitors in order to sign the statutory declaration. There are costs associated with collecting the evidence to prove that you have lived in your acquired gender. In total these can add up to several hundred pounds which many trans people are unable to afford.

Question 9 – Privacy and Disclosure of Information (Section 22)

Question 9: Do you think the privacy and disclosure of information provisions in section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act are adequate?

No

If no, how do you think it should be changed? :

Whilst no change in the wording of section 22 is needed there needs to be much more emphasis on upholding the provisions in section 22. Far too many trans people are asked by employers to show their GRC and there have been few prosecutions for breaching section 22. Understanding and enforcement of section 22 provisions needs to be undertaken.

Questions 10 and 11 Impact of Legal Gender Recognition Process (Protected Characteristics)

Question 10: If you are someone who either has, or would want to undergo legal gender transition, and you have one or more of the protected characteristics, which protected characteristics apply to you? You may tick more than one box.

Tick any protected characteristics you have here. Everyone has the characteristic of “age”. It is important to tick this for the answer below.

Please give us more information about how your protected characteristic has affected your views on the GRC application process.:

Currently the GRC application process is not available to under 18s. If I was under 18 today then I would want to change my legal gender. The GRC process should be made available to under 18s.

Question 11: Is there anything you want to tell us about how the current process of applying for a GRC affects those who have a protected characteristic?

Enter your answer below.:

Under 18s are not able to have their gender legally recognised under the current system. 16 and 17 year olds should be able to have their gender recognised under the same process as adults. Under 16s should be able to have their gender recognised with the consent of a parent or guardian.

Disabled people may have problems with the overly bureaucratic process or with accessing medical treatment or evidence. These requirements should be removed to enable disabled people to more easily have their gender legally recognised.

Introduction to Wider Considerations of Impact (Equality Act)

This series of questions appear to have been inserted into the consultation to appease transphobic groups concerned about trans women accessing women’s spaces. Our right to access such spaces is guaranteed under the Equality Act and is not dependent on having a gender recognition certificate. There are no proposed changes to the Equality Act as part of the proposed reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Question 12 – Impact on Sport (Equality Act)

Question 12: Do you think that the participation of trans people in sport, as governed by the Equality Act 2010, will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 13 – Impact on Single-sex and Separate-sex Service (Equality Act)

Question 13: (A) Do you think that the operation of the single-sex and separate-sex service exceptions in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

(B) If you provide a single or separate sex service, do you feel confident in interpreting the Equality Act 2010 with regard to these exemptions?

Answer this question if you are respnding on behalf of an organisation that provides single or separate sex services.

(C) If you are a trans person who has experienced domestic abuse or sexual assault, were you able to access support?

If you are a trans person please give details here of any difficulties accessing support.

Question 14 – Impact on Occupational Requirements (Equality Act)

Question 14: Do you think that the operation of the occupational requirement exception in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 15 – Impact on Communal Accomodation (Equality Act)

Question 15: Do you think that the operation of the communal accommodation exception in relation to gender reassignment in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 16 – Impact on the Armed Forces (Equality Act)

Question 16: Do you think that the operation of the armed forces exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 17 – Impact on Authorising or Solemnising Marriages (Equality Act)

Question 17: Do you think that the operation of the marriage exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 18 – Impact on Insurance Operation (Equality Act)

Question 18: Do you think that the operation of the insurance exception as it relates to trans people in the Equality Act 2010 will be affected by changing the Gender Recognition Act?

No

Please give reasons for your answer.:

The Equality Act is separate from the GRA and will not change. Trans peoples’ rights under the Equality Act are not dependent on having a GRC.

Question 19 – Impact on Other Public Services (beyond the Equality Act)

Question 19: Do you think that changes to the Gender Recognition Act will impact on areas of law and public services other than the Equality Act 2010?

Yes

Please give reasons for your answer. :

Legally recognising non-binary people would require changes to other areas of law. Such changes should be made with respect to achieving equality for non-binary and binary trans people alike.

Question 20 – Non-binary Gender Identities

Question 20: Do you think that there need to be changes to the Gender Recognition Act to accommodate individuals who identify as non-binary?

Yes

If you would like to, please expand more upon your answer.:

Many people already identify as non-binary and increasing numbers are coming out as non-binary. Non-binary genders should be accepted under the law on an equal basis as men and women. It is therefore important that the GRA provides an option for legal recognition for non-binary people.

Question 21: Experiences of Intersex Respondents

Question 21: (A) Do you have a variation in your sex characteristics?

No

(C) What other changes do you think are necessary to the GRA in order to benefit intersex people? :

Intersex people should be able to access a GRC on the same terms as trans people, without the need for medical reports or restrictive evidential requirements

Question 22 – Any further comments?

Question 22: Do you have any further comments about the Gender Recognition Act 2004?

Yes

If you answered yes, please add your comments.:

Reform of the GRA must recognise non-binary people. It must recognise under 18s. It must remove medical and other evidential requirements. To not do so would make any reform unfit for purpose.

Consent for publishing your response

Can we publish your response?

Publish my response in anonymised form only

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

Staff & Trustee Code of Conduct

It is the responsibility of staff & trustees to:

  1. Act within the governing documents and the law – being aware of the contents as it applies to TransLeeds.
  2. Act in the best interests of TransLeeds as a whole – consider what is best for the organisation and its beneficiaries and avoiding bringing TransLeeds into disrepute.
  3. Manage conflicts of interest effectively – registering, declaring and resolving conflicts of interest.  Not gaining materially or financially unless specifically authorised to do so.
  4. Respect confidentiality – understanding what confidentiality means to practice for TransLeeds, board and the individuals involved with it.
  5. Have a sound and up-to-date knowledge of TransLeeds and its environment – understanding how TransLeeds works and the environment within which it operates.
  6. Attend meeting and other appointments or apologise if not – considering other ways of engaging with the organisation if regularly unable to attend staff or trustee meetings. Both staff & trustees are expected to attend at least one support group per month.
  7. Prepare fully for meetings and all work for TransLeeds – reading papers, querying anything you don’t understand and thinking through issues in good time before meetings.
  8. Actively engage in discussion, debate and voting in meetings – contributing positively, listening carefully, challenging sensitively and avoiding conflict.
  9. Act jointly and accept a majority decision – making decisions collectively, standing by them and not acting individually unless specifically authorised to do so.
  10. Work considerately and respectfully with all – respecting diversity, different roles and boundaries, and avoiding giving offence.

Staff & trustees are expected to honour the content and spirit of this code.

Grievance Procedure

Grievances must be made to one of the trustees in writing.  This can be done though email or any of TransLeeds’ social media accounts.

Anonymous reports will be considered with the same weight, though the trustees may have difficulty taking action to resolve the grievance and responding.

All grievance reports must include the following :

  • Who the grievance is in regards to
  • An outline of the grievance
  • Any supporting evidence eg screenshots

What happens next?

  1. A trustee will acknowledge receipt of the grievance in writing
  2. The trustees will investigate the grievance.  The trustees will endeavour to keep the reporter anonymous throughout the investigation.  If the trustees need to disclose the reporter’s identity, they will seek permission in advance. Depending on the nature of the report, the trustees may temporarily suspend the person under investigation until the process  is complete. If a trustee is the subject of the grievance, or has a conflict of interest, they will be excluded from participating in the investigation.
  3. At least three of the trustees will meet to discuss the grievance and decide on appropriate action.

 

Possible Outcomes

  • Written warning
  • Temporary suspension from support spaces and/or social events and/or online spaces.
  • Permanent expulsion from support spaces and/or social events and/or online spaces.

 

Disclosure & Safeguarding Policy

Disclosure Policy

TransLeeds staff will do their utmost to protect the confidentiality of its service users at all times.

TransLeeds staff may be  required to share confidential  information with each other. Therefore, any information shared with one member of staff may be disclosed to other staff members.

Confidential information will never be shared outside of the staff network except in rare cases, such as information relating to criminality or risk of life.

 

Safeguarding Policy

The purpose of the Safeguarding Policy is to protect as many of TransLeeds service users as possible.

Safeguarding will arise from issues related crisis, homelessness, and poverty as well as issues affecting vulnerable service users with complex needs such as mental health, disabilities, neurodiversity, elderly, BAME, faith, or sexuality.  This is not an exhaustive list.

 

Safeguarding Book

Staff members record all safeguarding issues in the Safeguarding Book. In the book, the following must be recorded:

  • Date
  • Name of staff member entering the record
  • The specific issue and important details
  • Action being taken by staff

Names of service users will be substituted with initials to protect confidentiality.  The entry will be signed by all staff members present.

Any risk to service users by other service users or staff will be treated in the same way as the Grievance Procedure.

 

Venues

All venues will be selected with safeguarding in mind. Staff will make all reasonable attempt to ensure venues are inclusive and safe for everyone.

A staff member will always be available at TransLeeds events.

Financial Policies & Procedure

  1. Basic Policies

    1. There are at least two trustees, including the Director and the Treasurer, who are signatories to TransLeeds’ bank accounts.
    2. Trustees are not paid for their services as trustees though can be paid by TransLeeds for specialist services provided to third parties that are inline with TransLeeds’ objectives.
    3. All money and assets are used solely to pursue the objects of TransLeeds as set out in its constitution.
    4. Full, accurate accounting records are kept securely for at least seven years.
    5. Bank accounts are operated properly and cheques are signed by the Director.
    6. Cheques are not signed without details of the amount of the payment and the purpose for which it will be spent.
    7. All payments are backed up by source documents, such as receipts, invoices or bills.
    8. The Treasurer is responsible for keeping TransLeeds accounts in order and will hold all source documents.
    9. All grant money is spent in accordance with the terms on which it was awarded.
  2. Charitable Collections

    1. All charitable collection efforts conform with the Code of Fundraising Practice.
    2. All persons performing charitable collections are familiar with the Codes of Practice in the Street Fundraising Rulebook.
    3. All cash collected is stored in a secure container (ie collection box).
    4. All persons performing charitable collections are clearly identifiable as a representative of TransLeeds;
      1. They will wear shirts with TransLeeds logos.
      2. They will have identification cards approved by the Director.
      3. Collection boxes will be clearly labelled with TransLeeds’ logo.
  3. Collection Boxes
    1. Collection boxes are the responsibility of the Treasurer.
    2. At least two staff members or trustees, including the Treasurer, must be present when collection boxes are opened for cashing up.
    3. Security stickers are used on collection boxes after they have been sealed and won’t be removed or intentionally damaged until it is time for cashing up.
    4. All cash from collection boxes is recorded and swiftly deposited in TransLeeds’ bank account without deducting expenses.

 

TransLeeds Constitution

  1. Name
    The charity’s name is TransLeeds
  2. The Purposes Of The Charity Are:
    To support the transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming community in Leeds and Yorkshire.
  3. Trustees
    The charity shall be managed by a committee of trustees who are appointed at the Annual Gender Meeting (AGM) of the charity.
  4. Carry Out The Purposes
    In order to carry out the charitable purposes, the trustees have the power to:

    1. raise funds, receive grants and donations
    2. apply funds to carry out the work of the charity’s co-operate with and support other charities with similar purposes
    3. do anything which is lawful and necessary to achieve the purposes
  5. Membership
    The charity shall have a membership. People who support the work of the charity and are aged 18 and over, can apply to the trustees to become a member. Once accepted by the trustees, membership lasts for 1 year and may be renewed. The trustess will keep an up-to-date membership list.The trustees may remove a person’s membership if the believe it is in the best interests of the charity. The member has the right to be heard by the trustees before the decision is made and can be accompanied by a friend.
  6. Annual General Meeting – AGM
    1. The AGM must be held every year, with 14 days notice given to all members telling them what is on the agender. Minutes must be kept of the AGM.
    2. There must be at least 3 members present at the AGM.
    3. Every member has one vote.
    4. The trustees shall present the annual report and accounts.
    5. Any member may stand for election as a trustee.
    6. Members shall elect between 3 and 10 trustees to serve for the next year. They will retire at the next AGM but may stand for re-election.
  7. Trustee Meetings
    1. Trustees hold at least 3 meetings each year. At their first meeting after the AGM, they will elect a chair, treasure and secretary. Trustees may act by majority decision.
    2. At least 3 trustees must be present at the meeting to be able to take decisions. Minutes shall be kept for every meeting.
    3. If trustees have a conflict of interest they must declare it and leave the meeting while this matter is being discussed or decided.
    4. During the year, the trustees may appoint up to 2 additional trustees. They will stand down at the AGM.
    5. The trustees may make reasonable additional rules to help run the charity. These rules must not conflict with this constitution or the law.
  8. Money and Property
    1. Money and property must only be used for the charity’s purposes.
    2. Trustees must keep accounts. The most recent annual accounts can be seen by anybody on request.
    3. Trustees cannot receive any money or property from the charity, except to refund reasonable out of pocket expenses.
    4. Money must be held in the charity’s bank account. All cheques must be signed by 1 trustee.
  9. General Meetings
    If the Trustees consider it is necessary o change the constitution, or wind up the charity, they must call a General Meeting so that the membership can make the decision. Trustees must also call a General Meeting if they receive a written request from the majority of members. All member must be given 14 days notice and told the reason for the meeting. All decisions require a two thirds majority. Minutes must be kept.

    1. Winding up – any money or property remaining after payment of debts must be given to a charity with similar purposes to this one.
    2. Changes to the Constitution – can be made at AGMs or General Meetings. No change can be made that would make the organisation no longer a charity.
    3. General Meeting – called on written request from a majority of members.
    4. Trustees may also call a General Meeting to consult the membership.
  10. Setting Up The Charity
    This constitution was adopted on 25th September 2017 by the people whose signatures appear below. They are the first members of the charity and will be the trustees until the AGM, which must be held within one year of this date.
  11. Signed by :
    Sophia Thomas
    Oliver Thompson
    Nicholas Walton
    Natasha Handle