After the GRA: Supporting trans students and trans student groups

Wednesday 07-11-2018 - 15:36

An Update from your Welfare and Liberation Officer Meg Haskins and Opportunities Officer Charlie Walker

This October’s headlines were shaped by two big issues that affect trans students: pronoun badges and the close of the Government’s consultation on the reform of the Gender Recognition Act.

Our friends at Edinburgh University Students’ Association made headlines (not all of them friendly) this Freshers’ for introducing optional pronoun badges in order to help normalise the sharing of pronouns. We decided that the best form of flattery is imitation and followed suit. To our joy the badges went down a storm in Durham and we’ve since had to order more (which can be found at our reception or in the majority of colleges).

Alongside the pronoun badge saga, the Government’s consultation on the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) took centre stage and brought trans rights and issues to the forefront of public debate. As one of tens of thousands of responses, Meg submitted a response on behalf of Durham SU, which made it clear that we are in support of a reformed Gender Recognition Act that:

  • Requires no medical diagnosis or presentation of evidence for trans people to get their identity legally recognised
  • Recognises non-binary identities
  • Gives all trans people, including 16-17 year-olds, the right to self-determination, through a much simpler and more streamlined administrative process

The consultation period is now over, but the fight for trans rights isn’t and at Durham SU we will be doing everything we can to support all of our trans and non-binary students and make sure the University is a welcoming and inclusive place for all students.

At Durham SU, we are always proud of the achievements of our student groups, including the Trans Association. At NUS LGBT+ Conference 2018, Durham Trans Association won LGBT+ Society Development of the Year, and at NUS Trans Conference 2018, they won Trans Campaign of the Year. We look forward to seeing them continue their brilliant work and go from strength to strength in 2018-19.

We want our Associations to have just as much support as other groups to develop into strong organisations with a clear plan about what they want to achieve each year through their campaigns and socials. And when they do amazing things, we want to celebrate their work, both in Durham and by nominating them for national awards. That’s why we’ll be opening our new Society Recognition Scheme to the Associations to recognise their work.

We hope that initiatives like our Associations and Pincident continue making Durham a safer and more inclusive community for all students. Everyone deserves to feel at home here and we want to do everything we can to make that a reality.

Find out more about Trans Association and our other Associations here or in the video below.


Associations, Charlie - Opportunities Officer, Meg - Welfare and Liberation Officer

Related Tags :

Trans Assocation, Trans, gender recognition act, Opportunities Officer, Welfare and Liberation Officer, Charlie Walker, Meg Haskins, Luke Armitage,

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