The GMB’s LGBT self-organised group, GMB Shout!, has a two-year project called Putting the T back in LGBT, which is aimed at raising member, employer, union, national and international awareness of the transgender community, their rights and supporting them in and out of work.
As part of the project it produced a pioneering toolkit for union workplace reps on transgender equality. The toolkit was devised and written by GMB trans members and LGB activists. It includes essential guidance, for example on definitions, legal rights, support for members who are transitioning and monitoring of gender identity, and includes a checklist for transgender equality in the workplace.
Clair, a GMB trans member who participated in the project, explained the importance of changing attitudes in the workplace and providing support to trans workers: “At the beginning coming out as a trans person is very hard. The people you work with might just think it’s a big joke – it’s weird, not the norm – I’ve had to deal with that over the past 14 years. There needs to be better representation of trans people and employees need to be educated about trans issues.”
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