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The Dos and Don’ts of How to Support Your Trans Colleagues

By Tate Smith, Legal Support Secretary at Clifford Chance

DO implement a Trans Policy in your workplace or push for one to be drafted. Consult trans people so you have proper provisions in place to support transitioning and protect trans colleagues from harassment and bullying.

DO stand up for your trans colleagues if you hear someone misgendering or deadnaming them. They may not have the confidence to answer back and a good ally will always stand up for those who need it.

DO keep up to date with trans rights in the UK by reading articles on myGwork or Pink News and think about how best you can support.

DO reach out to your trans colleagues and ask them if they would be ok with helping you become a better ally.

DO get actively involved in your workplace’s LGBT+ network and ensure the network is doing enough to further trans rights by implementing a policy, holding events with trans speakers, undertaking terminology training, running inclusion reports and providing support during difficult times like the ongoing GRA reform.


DON’T ask inappropriate questions you wouldn’t want to answer yourself.

DON’T concentrate on a trans person’s medical history or surgeries when conversing with them. They’re human too.

DON’T assume someone’s pronouns depending on the way they dress. Non-binary people are still valid even if presenting feminine or masculine.

DON’T refer to transgender people as ‘transgendered’ ‘transvestite’ ‘transsexual’ or ‘tranny’ – these words are outdated, demeaning and are not welcome in today’s society.

DON’T refrain from educating yourself about trans people. Stonewall has great resources and further reading. The Netflix documentary ‘Disclosure’ about trans representation in media and film, is a superb way to start.

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