The following tips have been put together by Nyika, Training Officer (Student Culture and Inclusion) in Student Support and Safeguarding.
1. Share your pronouns
If everyone shares their pronouns, then this ‘usualises’ the experience for those whose pronouns may not match their appearance. You can do this by adding them to your email signature, wearing a badge, or introducing yourself with your pronouns when you meet people. Pronouns may be she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs…
You can find out more about pronouns in this video featuring the Community Officer Blake.
2. Invite others to share their pronouns
If you are organising an event or meeting up with people, ask people to add their pronouns to their name badge or to share them when introducing themselves. Ask people which pronouns they would like to use when you first meet them. Some people might not feel comfortable sharing their pronouns, so its important not to put pressure on people to give an answer.
3. Understand your own identity
One way to support trans people is to understand how you yourself identify. Does your gender match the sex you were assigned at birth? Then you are cisgender. The Genderbread Person is a great way to discover where you lie on the gender and sexuality continuums.
Read more about the Genderbread Person
4. Don’t ask invasive questions
Consider how you would feel if somebody asked you about your genitals or other private aspects of yourself. Trans people feel the same when you ask them about surgery, hormones, or any other part of transitioning. If you are desperate to know the details, Google is your friend.
5. Learn from and support trans creators
There are trans people on every social media platform, from Twitter to TikTok, who are willing to share their experiences and answer questions. Following and supporting these creators is a great way to learn, but give something back if you can, for example donating to fundraisers.
6. You may get it wrong!
We are all human, and we all make mistakes. It is probable that all of us will slip up on names or pronouns from time to time. If this does happen apologise, correct yourself, and move on.
7. Use people’s pronouns even if they aren’t in the room
The more we use someone’s new name and pronouns, the more the image we have of them in our head will shift. The key to not getting somebody’s name and pronouns wrong is to practice them and use them every time you refer to that person, even if they can’t hear you. The more you do this, the easier it will become.
8. Find out information before events
Does your venue have a gender-neutral toilet? If so, where is it? Is the venue welcoming and inclusive to all? There are maps of all toilet facilities on campus, including gender neutral toilets, which you may like to share before the event.
Find gender neutral toilets on campus
9. Show your support
Small things, like wearing a progress flag or trans flag badge, can help to identify you as a trans ally, and make people feel more comfortable.
10. Be an active bystander
If you hear transphobic comments, there’s a lecturer who keeps misgendering somebody on purpose, or you are aware of any discrimination, then use one of the 4 “Ds” of bystander intervention:
- either directly challenge
- create a distraction to stop the harassment immediately
- have a delayed check in with the person after the event
- or delegate to security and the university.
Use the Support and Report tool to report any harassment, micro-aggressions, or discrimination 24 hours a day. Once you have put information into the form, it is up to you what happens with it, including the option to stay anonymous.
Read more about Bystander InterventionAccess Support and Report