My name is Debbie and I’m a secondary school teacher. I’d been teaching in the same school for nine years when I came out as a trans woman. I told the school that I was going to start the process of transitioning. That is, living in my acquired gender.
My employer went to an expert for advice and I went to my union, NASUWT. The union were very supportive and helpful. They were with me through the entire process.
They sat with me through meetings when we discussed how to tell parents, pupils and colleagues. And also about how I would need time off for medical treatment.
The reaction from everybody in school was overwhelmingly positive and I went back to school after my transition. I taught the same classes and there was no disruption to the life of the school at all.
My trade union supported me 100% throughout my transition. The open dialogue which we had between my employer and the union benefitted everybody. It benefitted me and my school.
As a result of my experience I have gone on to become much more involved in my union, supporting colleagues and speaking out for the LGBT rights for workers.