What Is Trans Awareness Week?
Each year individuals and organisations around the country participate in Trans Awareness Week.
The aim is to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and to address the key issues the community faces.
In 2020, the dates of Trans Awareness Week are 13-19 November 2020.
Throughout Trans Awareness Week, trans people and their allies educate, share stories and experiences and advance advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination and violence that affect the transgender community.
Following on from Trans Awareness Week is Transgender Day of Remembrance, on the 20th November. This is an annual observance that honours the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence during that year.
I am a proud supporter of Trans Rights Are Human Rights, regularly delivering powerful training on LGBTQ+ issues to multinational corporations around the globe.
Below you will find a glossary of gender identity terminology that I have put together for use in multinational corporations. I hope you find it useful!
Gender Identity Terminology
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and +. The + is intended as an all-encompassing representation of sexual orientations and gender identities.
Often expressed in terms of masculinity and femininity, gender is largely culturally and socially determined and is assumed from the sex assigned at birth.
Sex Assigned At Birth
This is a label (male or female) that you are assigned at birth. In the majority of births, a relative, midwife, nurse or physician inspects the genitalia when the baby is delivered and sex is assigned, without the expectation of ambiguity.
A concept or belief that there are only 2 genders (boy and girl) and that your sex assigned at birth will align with traditional social constructs of masculine and feminine identity, expression and sexuality.
A person’s innate sense of their own gender, which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth. This is an individual’s deeply held sense of who they are; male, female, another gender or no gender.
How a person chooses to outwardly express their gender, within the context of societal expectations of gender. A person who does not conform to societal expectations of gender may not, however, identify as transgender. This is the physical manifestation of someone’s gender identity. It is about individual preferences, how you look, how you wear your hair and your clothes. It is about your demeanor, your voice and the way you speak. It is about your mannerisms and movements.
Someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth. Non-trans is also used by some people.
An umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. An individual may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer, gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine.
A term used to describe someone who is assigned female at birth but identifies and lives as a man. This may be shortened to trans man, or FTM, an abbreviation for female-to-male.
A term used to describe someone who is assigned male at birth but identifies and lives as a woman. This may be shortened to trans woman, or MTF, an abbreviation for male-to-female.
This was used in the past as a more medical term (similarly to homosexual) to refer to someone whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. This term is still used by some although many people prefer the term trans or transgender.
A term used to describe a person who may have the biological attributes of both sexes (male and female) or whose biological attributes do not fit with societal assumptions about what constitutes male or female. Intersex people may identify as male, female or non-binary.
An umbrella term for people who don’t exclusively identify as either a man or a woman. Nonbinary people may identify as bigender, agender, genderfluid – to name a few terms.
Someone who identifies as having no gender or being without a gender identity. Other terms used are genderless, genderfree, non-gendered, ungendered.
A non-binary gender identity that is not fixed and is capable of changing over time.
A term used by people who do not subscribe to conventional gender distinctions but identify with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders.
The process of exploring your own sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
A (typically) straight and/or cisgender person who supports members of the LGBTQ+ community
Used to describe when a person experiences discomfort or distress because there is a mismatch between their sex assigned at birth and their gender identity. This is also the clinical diagnosis for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth.
Passing and Visibly/Not Visibly Transgender
This is a term used in the trans community and refers to if someone is regarded, at a glance, to be a cisgender man or cisgender woman. Cisgender refers to someone whose gender identity matches the sex they were ‘assigned’ at birth. This might include physical gender cues (hair or clothing) and/or behaviour which is historically or culturally associated with a particular gender. The preferred term is visibly/not visibly transgender.
Words we use to refer to people’s gender in conversation. For example ‘he’ or ‘she’. Some people may prefer others to refer to them in gender neutral language and use pronouns such as ‘they/their’ and ‘ze/zir’.
The steps a transgender person may take to live in the gender with which they identify. Each person’s transition will involve different things. For some this involves medical intervention, such as hormone therapy and surgeries, but not all trans people want or are able to have this. Transitioning also might involve things such as telling friends and family, dressing differently and changing official documents.
Calling someone by their birth name after they have changed their name. This term is often associated with transgender people who have changed their name as part of their transition.
Have Your Colleagues Felt Excluded?
Chances are, your LGBTQ+ colleagues have felt excluded:
- During conversations about parenting
- In discussions about family life/relationships
- In conversations delving into personal details with colleagues
- When discussing activities external to work
- With leave entitlement
- For their gender identity
- For how they express (or don’t express) their gender in the workplace
- With specific gender expectations
- When they were actively not invited to social gatherings
Psychological Safety For Your LGBTQ+ Employees
Do your trans and gender non-conforming colleagues feel safe and comfortable to express themselves fully in the workplace?
And what about those that haven’t disclosed their gender identity to you.
Is the culture and environment of your organisation psychologically safe for them?
From my experience working with LGBTQ+ individuals… Your LGBTQ+ colleagues hide elements of who they are; censor what they say, do and how they communicate with their peers; pretend they are someone they are not and wear a ‘professional mask’ – to hide their real self so they can fit in and be accepted. I know. I asked them.
So tell me, do you have the 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety in place, to ensure every single person in your organisation is able to bring their whole self to work?
E-Learning – LGBTQ+ and Psychological Safety
I have created 7 e-learning modules for multinational corporations, around psychological safety and LGBT+.
These are designed to be rolled out company-wide, to reach as many employees as possible.
- Introduction to Psychological Safety
- LGBTQ+ In The Workplace
- LGBTQ+ Discrimination
- Bi+ Allies
- Gender Identity
- LGBTQ+ Service User and Customer Training
- Gender Expression
For more detailed information on what these e-learning modules cover, click here: https://www.ginabattye.com/elearning-lgbt-psychological-safety
Psychological Safety Training
Gina delivers psychological safety training for multinational corporations and Fortune 500s, in the US, Europe and UK and is currently working on her second book – The 5 Pillars of Psychological Safety.
Training Options Available:
About Gina Battye
Gina Battye is a world-renowned Authenticity, Psychological Safety and LGBT+ Inclusion Consultant and Trainer for Multinational Corporations, Fortune 500s, TV, Film and the Global Press.
As a media friendly experienced expert, with an acting background, Gina’s work has been featured widely in the media, including:
Sky News, BBC Radio, Forbes, Psychologies, Cosmopolitan.
To find out more about working with Gina on LGBT inclusion in your organisation, click here: https://www.ginabattye.com/ginas-courses
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