Trans equality is everyone’s business

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2016 National LGBT Conference
28 July 2016

Conference recognises there is still a long way to go to realise equality for all trans people in the United Kingdom (UK), as demonstrated in the Women and Equality Select Committee’s trans equality inquiry report published in January 2016. This report made a number of recommendations following a public consultation with trans communities highlighting the continued challenges trans people experience in almost all aspects of their lives from schools, health service, and employment to treatment in prison.

In July 2016, the Government published their response to the inquiry report and its recommendations. Although there are some acknowledgements and proposed actions on issues raised such as a commitment to report on the previous trans equality action plan and publish a new plan, some key issues remain unresolved as some trans activists and organisations pointed out. For example, the Scottish Transgender Alliance expressed their concern in their statement that “a significant part of the UK Government’s response is weak, as it does not set out concrete proposals for making the necessary changes to improve trans people’s rights and lived experiences”.

It is very disappointing to see that many of the government responses were “seeking further evidence” or “continuing to monitor the situation” without a clear commitment to action for change. However, Conference believes that the transgender equality inquiry report still provides a wealth of information for any public sector providers to develop our understanding of issues and challenges trans service users and employees may face in their access to services and in the workplace. It also helps non-trans lesbian, gay, bisexual (LGB) individuals to learn more about current trans issues.

Conference requests:

1. National lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) committee and regional groups to raise awareness of the trans equality inquiry report and promote recommendations as a source of understanding on trans equality issues and guidance for good practice;

2. National LGBT committee to work with national executive council to lobby the government and the Labour Party to keep trans equality as a priority, seeking to ensure that the proposed actions are fully implemented;

3. Continue to engage with trans communities – particularly amid the uncertainties following the European Union referendum;

4. National LGBT committee to continue to work on issues affecting those with non-binary gender identities and ensure UNISON’s trans equality work is inclusive of non-binary gender identities.