Blog by co-chairs of OUT-NAW, the National Assembly for Wales’ LGBT workplace network.
To mark the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, our intention this year is to raise awareness of transgender issues and to spend a moment or two reflecting on the issues that affect the Trans community and the impact that transphobia and other hate crimes have on their ability to live a full and fearless life.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is held annually on 20 November, with events and vigils taking place across the world. Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman was murdered in 1998 in Allston, Massachusetts. In response to her murder, an outpouring of the Black community’s grief and anger led to a candlelight vigil and inspired a web project “Remembering Our Dead”. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 by activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith, also a trans woman, as a mark of respect to those who had been subjected to such horrific crimes and to raise awareness of trans issues globally.
OUT-NAW, in partnership with Assembly colleagues and our Allies, play an important part in trying to create a more accessible parliamentary body by ensuring that our services and facilities are trans-inclusive. We’re also aware through our networks that organisations across Wales are working towards making their services more inclusive and we’re very pleased to be part of those discussions, to collaborate, share experiences and resources in order to help build a more inclusive society.
To this end, we have:
- Introduced gender neutral toilet facilities for staff and visitors to the Cardiff Bay estate
- Undertaken training provided by trans organisations
- Developed resources for our front-facing staff to raise awareness of trans issues and provide them with ‘top tips’
- Included ‘Mx’ alongside other titles such as Mrs, Ms, Mr, Dr, in our monitoring forms and our recruitment application forms for people who identify as non-binary.
- Annually promoted awareness of International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT)
- Taken part in events to generate awareness during LGBT History Month
In the next few weeks, we are delighted to be attending an inaugural trans equality seminar in Swansea and we will consider the learning from there in terms of the services we provide. The Assembly will also be doing some outreach work at the Swansea Sparkle event – one of only two trans-specific events in the UK. We look forward to seeing you there.
Jayelle Robinson-Larkin & Craig Stephenson – Co-Chairs