Transgender and Non-Binary Students
Valid from: 16 May 2018
Reviewal date: 16 May 2021
The Union Notes:
- That transgender and non-binary students are disadvantaged and marginalised within society and the University for the Creative Arts, facing issues such as; harassment, misgendering, lack of access to adequate healthcare, lack of access to appropriate toilets, poorer employment prospects, lack of appropriate prefixes, lack of non-binary recognition, and difficulties in changing personal details on University records.
- That the National Union of Students (NUS) estimate that around 28,000 students in the UK define as transgender.
- That according to research conducted by the NUS, over half of trans and non-binary students (51%) have considered dropping out of university.
- That the UK’s gender recognition laws still require trans people to pay fees, go through medical examinations, and go before an unelected panel before being able to change their gender on government records. These same laws also refuse to recognise non-binary people (more information can be found at www.gov.uk/apply-gender-recognition-certificate/overview.
The Union Believes:
- That transgender student (to be abbreviated as “trans”) shall be defined by the Union and UCA as being any student who identifies wholly or partially as not being the gender they were assigned at birth. This includes, but is not limited to, people who identify wholly with another gender, are genderfluid, bi-gender, have no gender, or fall under the non-binary umbrella, as well as trans women and trans men.
- The Union recognises that not all non-binary people identify as trans. The Union will continue to extend its support, aid, and activism to non-trans non-binary people whilst respecting their gender identity and not describing them as trans if they do not wish to be.
- That we have no tolerance for transphobia and will oppose it wherever it appears.
- That gender identity is defined by the individual, not by society or by societal norms. Trans men are men, trans women are women, and non- binary people are non-binary.
- That non-binary, agender, genderqueer, pangender, bi-gender, and genderfluid people exist and are as valid in their gender as any man or woman.
- That people have an unquestionable right to identify as a gender different to the one in which they were assigned at birth.
- That people’s gender identities are not matters of debate and that the Union and UCA will accept trans and non-binary students without forcing them to justify their existence or their rights.
- That gender neutral pronouns such as “They/Them/Theirs”, “Xey/Xem/Xeirs” and other gender neutral variants are all valid pronouns and should be respected by fellow students, the Union, and by the University and its staff.
- That trans and non-binary students have the right to access gender neutral toilets without being faced with unfair restrictions or unreasonable distances to travel.
- That trans and non-binary students have the right to access the toilets that make them feel comfortable and safe in their gender.
- That trans and non-binary students have the right to access healthcare vital to their mental wellbeing and physical transition, and to do so without unreasonable barriers, expenses, or waiting times.
- That trans and non-binary students have the right to have their gender recognised by institutions of government, administrative bodies, businesses, and other institutions, including the University for the Creative Arts.
- That the University for the Creative Arts should make it easy for trans and non-binary students to change their name and gender on official records and to have those names and genders recognised by officials and staff of UCA.
- That trans and non-binary students as a Liberation Group deserve their own specific representation within the democratic structures of the National Union of Students.
- That trans and non-binary students should not have financial barriers put in the way of their transition and should be able to access basic transition supplies.
- That the liberation of trans and non-binary students requires both activism and education, and that the Union and University can play an important role in changing mindsets around trans and non-binary issues as well as fighting for inclusive policies and institutions.
- That any future policy relating to trans and non-binary students should not be drawn up unless trans students from across UCA have had the opportunity to input into a discussion of the policy through a committee, discussion group, survey, caucus, or some other method and should not be written solely by a cis person.
- That the Union should support trans and non-binary people in demanding the replacement of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act with an Act that would allow trans and non-binary people to self-define their gender, without a need for excessive “evidence” or invasive procedures, as well as demanding an Act that recognises non-binary people.
The Union Resolves:
- To press for UCA to provide training on trans and non-binary issues. This training should extend to include the training of lecturers, teachers, support staff, Union staff, and elected officers.
- To make information available about NHS healthcare services for trans and non-binary students so that those services are more easily accessible, transparent, and understood.
- To campaign for UCA to ensure that its process for changing names on official records is clear, consistent, accessible, simple, and does not cause undue stress or anxiety.
- To campaign for UCA to ensure that students who have not changed their name via deed poll are provided with the option of having a ‘preferred name’ on UCA records and that the process for adding this name is simple, accessible, and not stressful.
- To campaign for UCA to offer advice services on how to change your name via deed poll through the Student Services, such as providing a deed poll template.
- To ensure that there is a simple and non-stressful service, provided through the UCA Advice Service, to help trans and non-binary students fill out a deed poll form and present it to the University as proof of a name change.
- To campaign for the University to ensure that on all official documentation for which gender is asked, there will be a provision for non-binary and other gender options.
- To lobby for students to have the option of rejecting all prefixes on official UCA records and leaving the prefix space blank.
- To campaign for there to be at least one gender neutral toilet in a central location in every single University campus.
- To ensure that, in Union communications and documentation, ‘transgender’ will be abbreviated as ‘trans’ without an asterisk as the asterisk is disliked by the vast majority of trans and non-binary people (evidenced at https://www.uktrans.info/attachments/article/377/terminology-survey-results.pdf).
- To ensure that, on all Union documentation and communications where gender is asked, the Union will provide for non-binary and other gender options.
- To campaign for UCA to ensure that campus cards will be re-issued free of charge for trans and non-binary students who have come out since receiving their initial campus card, if they wish to change their name and/or likeness to better reflect their current gender.
- To campaign for UCA to explicitly recognise medical transition appointments, and transition in general, as an extenuating circumstance when it comes to issuing extensions for coursework and re-sits for exams.
- To campaign for UCA to draw up its own ‘Transgender and Non-Binary Policy’, based on this policy, which will also apply to staff.
- To provide an easily accessible list of UCA’s gender neutral toilets, along with their locations, on the Union’s website.
- To mandate the Union to run one fundraising event every year to raise awareness around trans and non-binary issues and to ring-fence the money raised to fund campaigns and/or projects proposed by trans and non-binary students.