Let's remember the violence endured by transgender people

November the 20th is International Transgender Day of Remembrance. It's a day to remember those in the trans community who have been murdered or have suffered as a result of transphobic violence and discrimination

As public service workers, we have real capacity for bringing about positive change for the trans community. Not only for trans workers in public services, but also for trans people that use our services, too.

Every day, trans people suffer discrimination or harassment when trying to access vital public services like healthcare, as well as when dealing with public administration. At PSI, we believe that public services and administration is for everyone and should be free from all forms of discrimination and prejudice, whether it be age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, disability, marital status or ethnicity.

“Today we remember those in the trans community who have been murdered or have suffered as a result of transphobic violence and discrimination. Violence and discrimination against trans people cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. We urgently need societal change on this issue: public services should be accessible for trans people whilst standing at the forefront of the battle against discrimination and raising awareness about the challenges trans workers and citizens face. This also means ensuring that public administrations adapt their procedures and practices to be trans friendly and inclusive of everybody, whether it be through the capacity to change a person’s gender on their birth certificate or by ensuring pronouns and language on administrative forms and documents are inclusive. PSI stands in solidarity with all trans people,” says PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli.

We encourage our non-trans members to support their trans colleagues and public service users in their places of work by:

  • Making sure there are workplace policies in place to protect trans people, which include having gender-neutral bathrooms and uniforms that correspond to a person’s identity.

  • Making sure there is adequate support for people who are transitioning, which includes a right to attend doctors’ appointments and adequate medical leave.

  • Making sure your workplace has a right to privacy once someone has transitioned. Update workplace records sensitively and remove all mention of their previous name.

  • Using gender-neutral language and not assuming gender just by appearance alone. Don’t assume that if a person looks or sounds male or female, that it is the case. Especially when talking to someone over the phone.

  • Educating members and colleagues through awareness raising campaigns and education sessions aimed at addressing trans issues to remove stigma.

  • Be an ally – ask questions, listen to trans people's experiences and learn.

  • Getting involved in our LGBTI+ campaign, to help eradicate all forms of transphobia from our workplaces and society.

PSI has been leading the way for LGBTI+ equalities and fight for equality and discrimination-free workplaces. If you would like to know more about PSI’s LGBTI+ campaign or would like to get involved in PSI’s LGBTI+ campaign work, please email our LGBTI+ officer Mitchell Coe via mitchell.coe@world-psi.org .