Since the program began in 2015, Trans Care BC has introduced a number of changes to improve the health care experiences of trans people in BC. And work continues to provide education to health care providers and reduce barriers to accessing services for trans communities.
Each of us can shape our workplaces to be more inclusive of trans people, whether they be colleagues or a clients. Here are some easy things that you can do to be more trans inclusive in your workplace:
A trans person may want to change their birth name or the pronouns they use (he/she/they) to fit their gender identity. For many trans people, being associated with their birth name or the wrong pronouns is a source of frustration, so it's important to respect the names and pronouns a person is currently using. You can make your language more inclusive of trans people by adopting the following:
- Use the name and pronouns that people identify themselves with.
- If you don't know what pronouns to use, use gender neutral language, such as 'they' and 'them' during interviews, meetings, exams, et cetera or ask what pronouns a person uses.
- If it is relevant to know how someone identifies themselves (male/female/non-binary), ask respectfully in a confidential manner.
- If you make a mistake, apologize quickly and sincerely, use the correct term and move on.
Intake forms for work or medical appointments can be a source of angst for trans people. Often the forms ask for legal name and require you identify as either male or female and there is no space to enter name used or pronouns used. Where possible, consider the following to make your forms more trans friendly:
In required forms, offer people a chance to self-identify.
- Name Used: ___________
- Gender: ____________
- Pronouns (She, He, They…): ___________
- Use gender-neutral terms to avoid assumptions.
- "During a cervical exam it is common that an individual may express that they are feeling some discomfort."
- Update data management systems to offer the ability to self-identify gender and protect confidentiality.
Some public spaces, such as washrooms or women's only health services, are segregated by gender. This can be a source of worry for many trans people and gender diverse people as they often must choose a space based on other people's perception of their gender, which can cause significant anxiety and in some cases results in violence and harassment towards them.
To make spaces more inclusive of trans people, think about the following:
- Consider gender neutral and/or trans inclusive washroom options whenever possible.
- Gender neutral washrooms also benefit people who may require assistance from someone of another gender, such as parents accompanying children.
- If only gender segregated options are available (women's/men's washroom):
- Allow people to choose the needed services based on how they identify.
- Mark trans inclusive facilities or services (on your website, brochures, washroom signage, et cetera)
- Address inappropriate behavior or remarks from any clients and staff.