transgender flag

Transgender Day of Visibility – support and allyship for trans staff

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) is an annual event on March 31 dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide, as well as a celebration of their contributions to society. 

Read our Staff LGBT+ Network’s joint statement on Trans Inclusion and Support.

What does it mean to be Transgender or Trans? 

Transgender, or Trans, is as an umbrella term to describe people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. Someone who is trans may identify as (not limited to) transgender, non-binary, or genderqueer. 

Support at Kent for trans students and staff 

There is a Trans Support Group in Canterbury that meets twice a month. It is open to trans, intersex and non-binary people at Kent. The group is run by trans/non-binary people for trans/non-binary people. Family and partners are welcome. 

We have gender neutral toilet facilities across our campuses, and these will increase as building improvements and construction takes place.  

Our Mental Health Support pages feature resources to help you maintain your mental wellbeing. This includes our Employee Assistance Programme, tools and tips to help take care of yourself. 

How can you be a good ally to trans people? 

Cisgender, or Cis, describes someone whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned to at birth.  

There are lots of simple ways you can become a better ally and show support to trans colleagues, such as: 

  • Updating your pronouns on your email signature, Zoom screen and Teams profile. Include a link to a website such as mypronouns.org for people to find out more. 
  • Wear one of our new Rainbow lanyards. These are designed around the ‘Inclusion Flag’ which incorporates the Pride rainbow flag with pink, blue, brown and black, representing the trans community and people of colour within the LGBT+ community.  
  • Tweet your support using #TDOV2022 and tagging @UniKent and @KentLGBTStaff. 
  • Familiarise yourself with policies, guidance and terminology. 

Here are more ways you can be a good ally

Study into the Experience of Transgender Students in Higher Education 

Lynne Regan from Student Support and Wellbeing, recently gave multiple talks about her research on the Experience of Transgender Students in Higher Education, including a presentation to members of the Executive Group. 

You can watch the recording and view the PowerPoint slides to learn more about Lynne’s findings and her suggestions for what we can do at Kent to improve the experience of our trans students.  

LGBTQ+ Staff Network 

The Staff Network is open to all staff, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. It helps promote equality and diversity and to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ people and issues. It also organises social events so that staff can network and seek advice and support from fellow colleagues. Please email the staff network if you are interested in joining.

If you work closely with students, please see our support for trans student support blogpost.