Advancing transgender equality: a plan for action

transgender equality planThe UK government’s Home Office yesterday (7 December 2011) published its Transgender action plan [direct link to PDF download, 1mb]. The document describes “the specific actions we will take across government to advance transgender equality and it includes firm commitments to improve the lives of transgender people and support businesses and public bodies so they have the right tools to support transgender people“. [via]

The 20-page booklet, Advancing transgender equality: a plan for action, is divided into four main sections as follows:

  • Section 1: Early years, education and social mobility
  • Section 2: A fair and flexible labour market
  • Section 3: Opening up public services and empowering individuals and communities
    • Health and social care
    • Identity and privacy
    • Civil society
    • Public sector Equality Duty
  • Section 4: Changing culture and attitudes
    • Safety and support
    • Equal civil marriage
    • Promoting rights internationally

From the concluding part, Making it happen:

In line with the Government’s commitment to transparency and accountability, we are committed to do two things:

  • We will work with and support public bodies, businesses, practitioners and the voluntary sector throughout the delivery of the commitments included in this action plan.
  • In ‘Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender: Moving Forward’ we committed to launching a Call for Evidence (CfE) in 2012. This will also include a CfE on the actions which are included in the transgender equality action plan. This will allow anyone with an interest in transgender equality to let Government know their views and insights on the delivery of each section, how they may be implemented differently, or more effectively. We anticipate that the CfE will last for three months.

Only if we work together will we achieve the fairer, more equal and more prosperous society that we all want to see.

There’s a lot to take in here, and so far I’ve only given the document a quick lookover, but on first glance, it seems to be a useful step forward in supporting transgender people in several important key areas, including: tackling transphobic bullying in schools; ending discrimination in the workplace; supporting public bodies to deliver equality for everyone, including transgender people; and tackling prejudice and violence against transgender people.

Of course, how all this will translate into the real world, how the Government’s proposed frameworks are implemented (and accepted by mainstream society), remains to be seen. Let’s hope that it really does fulfil the Government’s stated wish “to act as a leader and catalyst for change, taking the first steps to advance transgender equality, both domestically and internationally“.


[Composite image created by Helen from screengrabs]