Trans Day of Visibility. Pronouns – let’s get them right
International Trans Day of Visibility (31 March) is dedicated to raising awareness of the discrimination faced by the trans community, but also to celebrating the achievements and contributions of trans people across the world. The University of Brighton is committed to supporting our trans and non-binary students and staff and creating a more inclusive environment, however we recognise there is more to be done.
Two years ago, the university took part in the city-wide campaign #MyPronounsAre. This involved students and staff (trans and cis) volunteering to wear badges indicating their correct gender pronoun such as ‘he/him’, ‘she/her’ or ‘they/them’. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the importance of getting pronouns right and avoiding misgendering. When someone is referred to with a pronoun that doesn’t align with their gender identity, it can make them feel invalidated and cause them significant distress. Getting pronouns right is an important way to respect a person’s gender identity.
Now that study has moved online, we recognise that the badges are less effective in raising awareness of someone’s pronouns. Therefore, we have worked with the Brighton Students’ Union to develop pronoun icons that students and staff can upload as their profile icon on Microsoft Teams. Design for Digital Media BA (Hons) student, Chloe Morris, has designed a fantastic range of pronoun icons that all students and staff, trans or cis can download.
Chloe invites students and staff to ‘wear your pronouns as a badge of pride and honour to your online classes and help us create an open dialogue around pronouns and identity in the University of Brighton!’
The Equality and Diversity Team has also worked with the LGBT+ Staff Network to develop this guide outlining tips on getting pronouns right.
Support for trans and non-binary students
Trans and non-binary students are able to change their forename(s), title and gender on their student record as well as the initials in their university email address, and the name and photograph on their Unicard. They can do this without having legally changed their name (the only exception is their final degree certificate which does need to be in their legal name).
The university also has a Named Contact for trans and non-binary students – Marianne Lemond, the Student Experience and Equalities Manager. She can advise you and help co-ordinate support in a range of areas including: the process for changing your name and other details on the student record; support in communicating with your lecturers or other key staff about your name and pronoun (if this would be helpful); and time off for gender-affirmative surgery/medical treatment. Email Marianne at M.G.Lemond@brighton.ac.uk