Jo from our Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service talks about Transgender Day of Visibility: 31st March 2017…
Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is a day to show your support for the trans community! It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people everywhere while fighting sexism and transphobia by spreading understanding of trans people.
Most commonly, the term ‘transgender’ is used to describe:
“An individual whose gender identity does not necessarily match the sex assigned to them at birth” (Stonewall).
However, ‘transgender’ is an inclusive, umbrella term which can be used, more broadly, to describe the diversity of gender identity and expression for all people who do not confirm to common ideas of gender roles, encompassing anyone whose identity or behaviour falls outside of stereotypical gender norms.
Recent years have seen huge strides for trans visibility, with an increase in coverage in mainstream media about people who identify as transgender and many high profile ‘comings out’ and breakthrough moments on TV that signal that attitudes towards trans people have been shifting.
However, unfortunately, this increased visibility has not yet translated to broad tolerance for trans people, who are still subject to profound discrimination, rejection, hostility and violence.
According to recent NUS Research, transgender University students are much more likely to suffer bullying and harassment, experience more physical and mental health problems and are twice as likely to have considered dropping out of University.
The theme of this year’s TDOV is trans resistance (#TransResistance). In the increasingly transphobic global political climate, speaking out, taking direct action, and educating others is critical to the safety and wellbeing of people who are trans. This recognizes that while visibility is important, action must be taken against transphobia. Visibility, alone, is not enough.
The Wellbeing Champions will be promoting Transgender Day of Visibility in The Square (Student’s Union, Ground Floor) on Friday 31st March, 1pm – 2.30pm.
Please support TDOV by coming along to meet some of the Champions, have a chat or to pick up a leaflet.
You can also support TDOV by considering these ‘Top Tips’:
- Tackle anti-trans or non-inclusive comments
- Respect peoples’ gender identifications, names and pronouns
- Accept that people have the right to define their gender, regardless of biological sex
- Notice the daily assumptions you might make about peoples’ gender
- Support gender-neutral toilets
- Grasp that gender identity and biological sex are very different things
- Encourage an inclusive tone at all gatherings
- Never casually share information about another person’s trans status
- Don’t assume you’ll recognise a trans person
- Educate others about trans-related issues
- Recognise the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation
Support to transition
Cardiff University can offer specific support for trans students who wish to transition whilst at Uni. The University has supported a number of students who have transitioned and there are procedures in place to try to make things as easy as possible.
The best place to start is to take a look at the policy and procedures document for supporting gender reassignment and trans students and staff, which can be found on the student intranet – search for Gender Identity.
The University operates a Zero Tolerance policy on Transphobia
This means that transphobic abuse, harassment or bullying (including name-calling / derogatory jokes) will be dealt with under the Dignity at Work and Study Policy, as a disciplinary offence.
To ‘out’ someone without their permission is a form of harassment and, possibly, a criminal offence, and will be treated by the University as such.
If you have suffered transphobic abuse, or any kind of hate crime, the All Wales Hate Crime Project Team is available on the last Tuesday of every month in the Student Support Centre (50 Park Place), between 5.30pm & 7.30pm, offering bookable appointments to provide support and advice, and to empower people to report hate crimes.
If you have suffered transphobic abuse, or been a victim of any form of Hate Crime, then you can access this free service to gain support, or to report an incident. This can also be a helpful means of support if you do not wish to inform the police.
Advice and support for students experiencing harassment, bullying or discrimination as a result of their trans status is also available at the Student Support at 50 Park Place, and also from the University’s Equality and Diversity Manager.
Emotional and Practical Support is available
The University’s Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service is available to provide support for LGBT+ students.
If you are experiencing any kind of emotional distress, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We can offer support to anybody experiencing any sort of difficulty, however big or small, be it related to being trans or LGB+, gender identity, transitioning at University, or something else entirely.
We offer bookable appointments via our online referral questionnaire, as well as a daily Drop-In Service called ‘Wellbeing Walk-In’, between 3pm & 3.45pm, Monday–Friday and on Wednesday mornings between 9.30am & 10.15am at the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place; and on Wednesday afternoons between 3pm & 3.45pm at Cardigan House, our Heath Park Campus.
All of our staff will listen, without judgement, and offer support in a safe, confidential space.
If talking to a member of staff is something you are not sure about, why not chat to one of our Student Wellbeing Champions. They are trained student volunteers who can signpost you to support, offer you a ‘Peer Ear’ and give you basic health and wellbeing advice.
Rainbow Bridge is an LGBT+ Support Organisation which offers free and confidential support to anybody experiencing or affected by domestic abuse who identifies as LGBT+. The Rainbow Bridge Team is available to Cardiff Uni students at the Student Support centre (50 Park Place) on the last Tuesday of every month, between 5.30pm & 7.30pm. The team can provide emotional support, practical support, advice and information.
Please book a slot via the Counselling and Wellbeing Appointments Intranet Page:
Or call 0300 3031 982 or email RainbowBridge@victimsupport.org.uk to find out more.
The LGBT+ Society, CU Pride, and the elected Student LGBT+ Officers are also here to provide advice and support. CU Pride welcomes everyone, regardless of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. To join their mailing list anonymously, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For any additional help, advice about university policies regarding LGBT+ issues, or for information regarding upcoming campaigns please visit the association facebook page or contact one of the current LGBT+ Officers
Please support Transgender Awareness Week by sharing this blog.
Related post: Join us in celebrating our transgender community
Jo, Wellbeing Practitioner & Counsellor,
Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Team.
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For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.