Gender Identity

‘Trans’ is a term used to refer to transgender and transsexual people.  Trans is often a preferred term as transgender and transsexual to some can be seen to ‘medicalise’ trans people and treat them automatically as having a disorder.

All trust policies and procedures must ensure that they adequately support Trans staff, service users and carers especially those policies dealing with recruitment, confidentiality, harassment, access to training.

The Trust must be able to demonstrate that it works to prevent discrimination against:

  • Trans people who have undergone gender reassignment
  • Trans people who do not intend to undergo gender reassignment
  • Trans people who intend to undergo gender reassignment in the future
  • Trans people currently undergoing gender reassignment

It is also important to note that many people may identify as trans, transgender or transsexual but may not meet the legal definition by having gone through gender related medical procedures or acquiring a gender recognition certificate.

Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, people who hold a gender recognition certificate, as granted under the act, are considered to be either male or female, depending on which gender they have applied for.  A Gender Recognition Certificate is: A document granted under the Act that allows a person the full rights and responsibilities of their acquired gender.  This can include legally being allowed to marry someone of the opposite gender and applying for a new birth certificate.

There are many other people who have a somewhat more ephemeral sense of gender, including, but not limited to, those who are “transitioning” from one gender to another. HPFT respects all gender presentations, irrespective of the presence of a gender recognition certificate. 

As there are not a large number of support agencies catering specifically for the needs of trans people, there can often be some confusion amongst staff on how to deal with these issues.  It is important that the following be taken into account:

  • If someone holds a gender recognition certificate they are afforded the full rights of that gender and should be treated as such.  This includes access to single sex spaces such as wards, toilets & bathroom facilities.
  • Where someone may be going through the transition process it is important for staff to talk with service users about what they feel they need in the way of support.  Many people will happily say what they want when asked.
  • Staff must not make assumptions about the needs of trans people as they can differ greatly.  What works for one person may not work for another.
  • To disclose to another person - that someone holds a gender recognition certificate (without their consent) is a criminal offence.
  • Services must be aware of where further information can be obtained.  We do not have all the answers but we should be expected to know where to get them.