Shrewsbury Colleges Group celebrates and values the diversity brought to it by all members of the community and is committed to providing a supportive, creative and inspiring environment where everyone is treated fairly.
For Pride Month we have put together a few suggestions on how you can become an ally of transgender people. By being an ally, you can help to make society a better, safer place for transgender people and for all people who do not conform to conventional gender expectations.
1. Listen to trans people
The best way to be an ally is to listen with an open mind to transgender people speaking for themselves. Follow influential leaders in the transgender community. Check out trans books, films, YouTube channels and blogs to find out more about transgender people and the issues they face.
One person I follow on Instagram is Desmond is Amazing who is an LGBTQ+ advocate, outspoken gay teen and genderfluid editorial and runway model… to name just a few of their achievements!
2. Recognise that being transgender is not about how someone looks
You can't tell if someone is trans just by looking! Being trans is not about dressing and acting a certain way, it’s a state of existing as one’s true self, regardless of what you are wearing and how you look. Many transgender people do not appear "visibly trans," so you should assume that there may be transgender people at any gathering or in any space.
3. Normalise the use of gender pronouns
Pronouns such as he/him and she/her that refer to a person’s gender might be OK for some people but using these pronouns for non-binary and transgender people, could be upsetting. Even as a cisgender* person, introducing yourself with your preferred pronouns can make a more inclusive and safer environment for trans people to also share their pronouns.
By normalising the practice of sharing your pronouns in college, you lighten the pressure on trans people and hopefully lower the chance for unintentional misgendering to happen.
An easy way to normalise sharing your pronouns is to add them to your social media bios or email signature. You could also wear a preferred pronoun badge – SCG has free pronoun badges available to staff and students.
4. Use gender-inclusive language
Simply changing some of the words that you use in the classroom or meetings can help make a more trans-inclusive environment. For day-to-day conversation, saying “hi everyone” instead of “hi ladies and gentlemen” makes for a nice gender-inclusive welcome. I need to make a real effort with this as my default greeting to a group of people is “hi guys”!
5. If you offend someone apologise and move on
Everyone makes mistakes which is fine if you are working on educating yourself. If you say the wrong thing by accident, like using a person’s birth name/dead name instead of their chosen name or forgetting their pronouns just apologise and correct yourself. Don’t make a big deal about a mistake as this will be awkward and could draw unwanted attention to the trans person.
*a person whose sense of identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex
For more information on how you can be a trans ally and find out about the issues facing trans people, check out some of these websites: