Trans police officers share tips on creating more inclusive workplaces in powerful film
Transgender employees of the Leicestershire Police Service have opened up about trans inclusion in the workplace, in order to foster more welcoming and diverse environments in all industries.
The result of their efforts is a film which was created with the National Police LGBTQ+ Network, and it covers everything from a basic definition of what "transgender" is to how to address someone if you're not sure of their pronouns.
It follows research that was conducted last year, which discovered that more than half - 53 per cent - of transgender employees in the United Kingdom have felt the need to hide their trans identity from employers.
Employees of Leicestershire Police came up with the idea after noticing the amount of media coverage gender neutral police uniforms received earlier in the year.
They approached trans activists Fox Fisher and Owl, who head up the non-profit trans awareness film company, My Genderation, to bring the concept to life.
"Given the history between the trans community and the police force, we realised that it was a sensitive matter," Fisher and Owl said when speaking to HuffPost UK.
"After giving it much consideration we came to the conclusion that this film would ultimately foster understanding about trans issues within the police and workplaces in general and have a positive effect and hopefully build some bridges," they continued. "This was an opportunity to work from within and hopefully create change."
The film showcases employees from multiple areas of the police service, who share their experiences, as well as offer advice as to how to create more trans inclusive workplaces.
Police sergeant, Gina, provided tips on using pronouns in the workplace when unsure: "If possible, ask somebody their preferred pronouns. 'They' or 'them' would work really well if you’re not sure."
While Megan, who is an equality officer within the probation service, explained the importance of not "outing" someone who is transgender, whether they have told you in confidence, or you have heard the information from elsewhere.
"It’s actually a criminal offence in a professional capacity to tell somebody that somebody else is transgender," she asserted. "Some people transition and just want to live their life as quietly as anybody else in the gender that they know themselves to be, so by outing somebody, you could put a serious risk to their mental health, their physical health, and it might lead to something really, really serious."
Fox and Owl ensured that the film was entirely made by trans people, both within the police service and throughout the production team.
"This was an essential part in the making of the film, as trans people had their authentic voices heard and spoke about issues related to the workplace," the activists told the publication. "We think the film will be useful for all workplaces and will be a valuable resource. It will start a conversation about trans issues in the workplace, and is a good tool in raising awareness and can help workplaces make their institution inclusive."