Safer Spaces – Guidelines

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Definitions

For this document, we use the following definitions:

  • Transgender or trans includes anyone whose lived gender, gender identity or subconscious sex is different from that assigned to them. Non-binary and non-transitioning transgender people are fully included and equal under this definition.
  • Cis means not transgender or transsexual.

Note: We acknowledge that gender variance is described differently in other times and cultures – our aim is neither to erase or appropriate, but to learn from, these ways of describing gender

Guidelines

We aim to keep working to make this space/all spaces safer for all trans people.

We affirm that:

Trans people need their own voice

  • Trans people are who they say they are.
  • Trans people (and all people) are the experts on their own lives.
  • One trans person cannot know about or speak for all trans people.
  • Trans people should be supported to speak for themselves, not spoken for by cis people except as respectful, informed allies.

Trans people are oppressed

  • There is a kind of oppression that only happens to trans people. We stand against that oppression.
  • “Cis privilege” is a valid way of talking about the absence of trans related oppression.
  • Cis people can be oppressed in other ways, but not because they are cis.
  • Only trans people get to define how they are oppressed and how they will be liberated.

Trans people need well-informed allies

  • Trans people need us to support, accept and not exclude them.
  • It is our responsibility to learn about trans issues from trans people.
  • We need to challenge all words that belittle, undermine, disrespectfully theorise about, objectify, sexualise or ridicule trans people.
  • Cis people should respect and support trans people to voice their oppression, needs and differences.
  • Feminism has a role to promote good/better practice for trans safer spaces.
  • Creating safer spaces means listening to and respecting concerns over triggers, sensitivity, mis-gendering and use of language.

Trans people need representation

  • Trans people need full representation on LGBT issues.
  • We need to consult the trans community when developing projects and services that may affect them.

Trans lives are diverse

  • Trans people come from all walks of life and are subject to all other forms of oppression – other oppressions complicate trans oppression.
  • There are lots of ways to be a binary or non-binary trans person – all valid, all equal.
  • Trans people have rights to access free medical treatment, or not, in a way that is right for them – their body, their rules.
  • Colonialist views on gender have erased support of gender variance that exists in other cultures.

Trans children have specific needs and experiences

  • Trans children have the same rights as all children.
  • It is wrong to equate the socialisation experience of a trans girl with that of a boy, and vice versa.
  • Parents of trans children share their children’s struggle and also need the support of allies.

Please pledge your support of these guidelines