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To provide you with information ...
which will give you understanding
enable you to support Transgender
help you to address and prevent
‘Everyone is an insider, there
are no outsiders – whatever
their beliefs, whatever their
colour, gender or sexuality.’
Archbishop Desmond Tutu February 2004
A ‘Trans’ spectrum
Trans is an abbreviation and umbrella term for
a spectrum of people whose gender identity is
different from their birth sex - Transgender.
It is also an abbreviation for Transsexual
(e.g. and only where necessary, transman/boy or
Appear in every culture – not just a ‘Western Thing’.
Have existed through recorded history.
Cross all economic and class boundaries.
Are both men and women.
Are not ‘sick’ or ‘defective’ or ‘mentally ill –
‘Gender Dysphoria’ is a medical condition.
Are simply part of natural variation.
Want no more than to be themselves, in peace.
Need the assistance of medicine to reach that goal.
Source:- Christine Burns MBE Past Vice President Press for Change.
What is Transsexuality?
A persistent discomfort with the sex assigned to
the person at birth; a deep sense of
inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex
A strong and ongoing desire to live and be
accepted as the sex with which they identify.
A wish to have hormonal treatment, and
possibly, surgery to make one’s body match
one’s psychological sex
What it is not ...
This is not a mental illness but increasingly
understood to have its origins before birth.
Research suggests that a small part of the
baby’s brain progresses along a different
pathway from the sex of the rest of its body.
(Source GIRES 2011)
Recognising gender dysphoria
There are various clues that may point to gender
‘Mermaids’ provides information and support for
families, teenagers and children with gender
Evidence of transphobic
Half of those born male who identify as female
Two thirds of those born female who identify as male
Physical abuse and even unwanted sexual behaviours
occur in a majority of reported cases.
Around a quarter of survey participants had been
bullied by teachers.
Teachers who are trans had been bullied by staff and
Source – Engendered Penalties. S.Whittle; S.Turner and M. Al-Alami.
Press for Change www.pfc.org.uk
Children usually know how they fit within the gender spectrum by
about age 4 or 5.
A quarter of transgender children have attempted suicide, and a
further 25 per cent have considered suicide.
Why should schools take
A school with 1,000 pupils will have 6 who experience
transgenderism during their lives.
Others are likely to have a transgender parent or
Before puberty 60 out of 1,000 pupils are likely to
same sex orientation that may be difficult
to distinguish from gender dysphoria.
In a staff of 170 there may be one transgender person.
When might transphobic
When a child shows signs of any identity confusion.
A child in the process of transitioning.
Schoolboy, 12, turns into a girl
A BOY aged 12 turned up at
school as a GIRL — after
changing sex during summer
This was the Sept 2009 story
How can you prevent
Be prepared - have information about transsexuality
available, including specialist organisations.
Raise awareness - amongst staff and pupils.
Be observant - watch for any signs.
Prevent and protect: ensure that
your anti-bullying policy incorporates all forms of bullying
pupils and staff understand that transphobic bullying is
included in the policy.
Remember you are not alone.
Home Office/Gires – ‘Transphobic Bullying –
Could you deal with it in your school?’ (2008)
Available on www.gires.org.uk
Department for Children, Schools and Families –
‘Guidance for schools on preventing and
responding to sexist, sexual and transphobic
bullying’. (2009) Available from DCSF Publications,
Engendered Penalties. S.Whittle; S.Turner and
M. Al-Alami. Press for Change www.pfc.org.uk
Information and Support
– The main support group for gender variant children and
teenagers, and their families.
BM Mermaids London. 0208 1234819 – Information line Monday to
Saturday 3pm to 7pm only. www.mermaidsuk.org.uk
– Gender Identity, Research and Education Society. Our primary
mission is to improve the circumstances in which trans people live, by
changing the way that society treats them.
01375 801554 www.gires.org.uk email@example.com
Transkids – Primarily for teachers in primary schools, but useful to
secondary schools too.
We are grateful to the following who have kindly allowed us to use their
materials and supported us in this project.
Christine Burns MBE
Equality South West
South West Transgender Equality Network
Press for Change