Monthly Archives: November 2013

#NHSGenderID – NHS England host Gender Identity twitter clubs to improve services

Here’s the deal, the NHS and the Department of Health know they have it wrong in terms of supporting gender variant people and by their own admission, are not sure how to get it right. Recently, they seem to have come to a groundbreaking solution – “Why don’t we ask trans* people what they think?”

This is happening, now.. Today in fact! NHS England are hosting a series of twitter clubs using the hashtag #NHSGenderId:

•Friday 15 November 4 pm, focusing on Trans women
•Wednesday 20 November 12 pm, focusing on Trans men
•Tuesday 26 November 8 pm, focusing on Trans* & non-binary trans people
Suggested topics for consideration are as follows:
–What works well in the gender identity services?
–What are the gaps? How can they be addressed?
–What does good look like?
–How can we make a difference to people’s lives?
Please get involved, be engaged and be honest.. I feel like these topics are going to invite a lot of anger (and rightly so), but constructive criticism and suggested solutions will be so, so valuable!

What does Trans* Friendly look like?

We had two really great discussions at the Evolve trans* youth group this month. First off, we talked about the things that friends, family, MAP staff and doctors could do to be really good allies for trans* people.


Here’s what the young people came up with:

  • Good allies would stand up for you when other people are being unpleasant or abusive. We also talked about how just staying with you when abuse is occurring can be really powerful.
  • Good allies would not ask intrusive questions about your identity, your genitals or any other aspects of your trans* experience
  • They would be open and receptive and have a willingness to learn about how to understand trans* people’s lives
  • They wouldn’t be judgmental
  • Good allies would have a positive approach and would not be ashamed to be seen with you or be ashamed of people knowing you are trans*
  • They wouldn’t treat you any different from how they did before you came out, except they would use the name, pronouns you prefer and would respect your identity
  • They would ask how you would like to be treated e.g. What pronouns do you want to use?
  • They wouldn’t make negative comments about your body or gender presentation e.g. your body looks weird, you should wear your hair a certain way etc.
  • Good allies would be willing to challenge peoples negative attitudes and misconceptions

Our second discussion was about what trans*-friendly services should look like.

This is what we think:

  • Gender neutral bathrooms are essential
  • It can help if there is diversity within the staff, ideally someone from an LGBT background who can relate to the stress and anxiety of the coming out process
  • Trans* friendly spaces should be accessible for ALL trans* people, which includes cultural sensitive services, wheelchair access etc
  • Positive images of trans* people should be on show
  • Trans* friendly spaces should deliver on their promises of being trans* friendly and should always consult trans* people themselves on how to do this
  • Any forms that needed to be filled out should be inclusive, not just male and female tick boxes
  • The service should have workers that respect trans* identities, who do not just stick to the binary model
  • Trans* friendly services should have a sense of humour!
  • An awareness of confidentiality
  • Safe spaces to change clothes etc.


Someone Like Me is a new intiative from Durex and MTV. They’re hoping to facilitate a global conversation to get people talking more openly about sex for better sex education, happier and healthier sex lives and a world free from HIV.

According to their website (

It’s sex education without the boring bits. Honest, inspiring, fun and truthful

It’s a chance to talk to people like you. People with the same questions, hopes and fears

A celebration of the things that make us different and the things that make us the same