City of York Council will become trans inclusive – with pronouns he, she or they to be added to email signatures, the trans pride flag to be flown twice a year and extra training to be provided.
Cllr Rachel Melly also asked the council to
- commit to training in transgender issues for people working in family planning services
- ensure schools are aware of their responsibilities towards trans children including the use of their preferred pronouns
- and for a code of acceptance to be introduced for foster carers.
Lali Hewitson, founder of The Portal Bookshop on Patrick Pool, told a council meeting they have had more than 80 requests for copies of the Trans Teen Survival Guide during lockdown from young people who may feel isolated.
Lali said: “I’ve had hate mail through the shop door for daring to support trans people. The environment for trans people at the moment is terrifying.
“The motion you have in front of you is really basic – it’s things about respect and training and including pronouns in emails and flying the trans pride flag.
“We’re not asking for full gender neutral toilets everywhere, we’re not asking for the active recruitment of trans people – which should be happening everywhere anyway.”
A more accepting place
Daniel Loyd, speaking on behalf of the LGBTQ+ network at the University of York, told councillors: “Better support for trans people, along with the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, is vital.
“Statistics provided by Stonewall UK show that 70 per cent of trans people actively avoid certain place for fear of violence and harassment. And that almost 50 per cent of trans people have attempted suicide, at least once.
“It’s clear without a doubt that more needs to be done to make society a more accepting and inclusive place.”
Daniel said more needs to be done, including creating gender neutral toilets and trans inclusive healthcare.
Councillors voted by majority to back the plans for the council to become trans inclusive.