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Cambridge University Press fly Trans Pride flag for the first time
To mark Trans Awareness Week this year, the LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Staff Network at the Press is raising the Trans Pride flag at the University Printing House in Cambridge, boosting visibility and signalling support of transgender and gender non-conforming colleagues.
Chairperson of the Network at the Press, Jay Marie, said: ‘Flying the Trans Pride flag is a strong statement of support for transgender people, and particularly for transgender youth who truly benefit from seeing that there are employers out there who would welcome them into their workplace. The flag was designed with the message of “finding correctness in our lives” behind it. To anyone unaware of what it means to be transgender or gender non-conforming, I feel this message of self-discovery and affirmation sums it up succinctly.’
Beyond raising the flag, this week provides a reminder to acknowledge the challenges faced by transgender people outside the workplace, and a chance to educate others about how they can better understand, support and empower transgender people.
The LGBT+ Staff Network at the Press was launched in 2018 and is open to all LGBT+ colleagues and their allies. From starting important conversations to providing a platform for advocacy in the organisation and beyond, the network grows each year.
For Trans Awareness Week, colleagues are sharing their stories across the Press and giving their views on how to make our organisation more inclusive.
Press colleague, Lee, said: ‘A trans-inclusive workplace, in my opinion, looks a lot like trans-inclusive society. It's one where a person can come out, and have it be unchallenged. Where a person can change their name, and not have to justify why to people who don't know them. Where everyone has their pronouns on their profile, and people respect them. Where a person can dress like their correct gender, and be unremarkable. Where a person can come out, and not be treated any differently. Where a person can experiment with their gender, and have the process taken seriously. Where we can all be the authentic people we are, and just get on with the job we're here to do, without prejudice.’
Jay Marie added: ‘More than anything, it's important to be respectful. If a transgender person opens up to you about who they are, it is not a decision that they would have made overnight and no matter what your relationship with them, they're likely to be extremely nervous about confiding in you. Listen to what they tell you and trust that they know themselves well enough to be making the best decision for them. This doesn't just apply to trans women and trans men either – gender non-conforming people are even less visible. Feeling like you aren't valid can have a highly detrimental effect on anyone's mental health. This feeling of invisibility and invalidation is further intensified for people who know that they are neither men nor women, and yet are forced to adhere to a society that insists that they must be one or the other. I would love to know that the supportive and inclusive attitude that has been shown to me is also extended to my colleagues who are gender non-conforming. One thing that does not change when we come out at work is that we still want to make a positive contribution to the business. The best way for trans people to do that is to know that we can do so as ourselves.’
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Tel: +44 (0)1223 326194