transgender flag

Transgender Day of Visibility – support and allyship for trans students

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? 

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 for trans students at Kent 

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 facilities will increase as building improvements and construction takes place.  

Student Support and Wellbeingoffer mental health support, counselling and peer support groups to all students and have an advisor with specialist LGBTQ+ support knowledge. You can also check out our LGBTQ+ self-help resource section online. 

You can also update your gender and preferred name (which shows on your Microsoft Teams account)  on KentVision.

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 people, such as: 

  • Updating your pronouns on your email signature, Teams profile and social media profile. Include a link to a website such as 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 LGBTQ+ community.  
  • Tweet your support using #TDOV2022 and tagging @UniKent, @ukclgbtq and @Medwaylgbtq. 
  • 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+ student groups at Kent 

The LGBTQ+ Student Networkacts as a voice for LGBTQ+ students to both the University and the Students’ Union and helps to ensure informed decisions are made on a practical and strategic level as well as planning events and networking opportunities for students. Email the Student Networkif you are interested in joining. 

You can also join the student LGBTQ+ Societyat Canterbury and the Medway LGBTQ Society, a safe space for students of marginalised gender identities and sexualities to socialise and meet other like-minded individuals. Make friends and develop your support network.