Trans Inclusion Statement
Regent’s Park College celebrates and values the diversity of its student groups, workforce, and visitors, and we aim to create a place for them that is welcoming and inclusive. We respect the rights and dignity of all our members, staff and visitors, and put equality, diversity, and freedom of expression at the heart of our community. Since 2022, we have been working with our students on the following statement. It affirms our commitment to their well-being, as they are the ones who make Regent’s a very special place. We’re committed to helping them feel safe, valued and supported so they can fulfil their potential in the time they spend with us.
Regent’s Park College Trans Inclusion Statement
Regent’s Park College celebrates and values the diversity of its student groups, workforce, and visitors.
Regent’s Park College recognises that there can be differences between assigned sex and gender identity expression. Regent’s Park College will at no time discriminate between people on the grounds of gender identity, or any process of gender reassignment. Where this statement refers to ‘trans people’, it has in mind people living with any of these identities. When it refers to ‘gender identity’, it covers the genders (fixed or fluid) of those who do and do not identify with the sex of their birth.
Regent’s Park College recognises the right of every individual to choose whether to be open about their gender identity and history. Any unlawful discriminatory behaviour, including transphobic harassment or bullying of by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and could be grounds for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion or dismissal. Such behaviour will be dealt with under the College’s Policy on Harassment and
Bullying and within the relevant legislation The Equality Act 2010.
Regent’s Park College acknowledges that it is not possible to have a comprehensive definition of transphobia. This document sets out what Regent’s Park College can deal with in a disciplinary context, and relates to manifestations of prejudice against trans people, that may be realised through acts of discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Regent’s Park College acknowledges that the term ‘gender reassignment’ has been challenged by the UK Parliament’s Women & Equalities Committee, and LGBTQIA+ advocacy groups, noting that language has evolved since the original Act of Parliament. On this basis, Regent’s Park College refers to ‘trans people’ and ‘trans’ to reflect current language and terminology that is used in our society today.
Regent’s Park College will:
- Treat all students, employees, and visitors with respect;
- Foster a safe, respectful and supportive environment where trans staff, students and visitors can work and learn;
- Foster good relations between groups with a protected characteristic; Be mindful of the need to respect the lawful exercise of the freedom of expression
Regent’s Park College will not:
- Unlawfully discriminate against trans people;
- Tolerate unlawful discrimination, victimisation, bullying or harassment against trans people.
As currently defined by the Equality Act 2010, ‘protected characteristics’ are:
- gender reassignment
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or on maternity leave
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation.
The Equality Act 2010 protects trans people from discrimination (direct or indirect), victimisation, bullying or harassment. It uses the term ‘transsexual’ for individuals who have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment, which in turn describes the characteristic of an individual who is proposing to undergo, is undergoing, or has undergone a process (or part of a process) of reassigning their person sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex. Regent’s Park College recognises that ‘gender reassignment’ has personal rather than exclusively medical dimensions. Individuals perceived as having the protected characteristic of gender reassignment (even incorrectly) are still afforded its protections. Perceptive discrimination protects a broad range of people who may present as gender nonconforming but do not identify as trans; it also protects people who have not yet taken steps, or declared an intention, to change their gender and are treated differently on the perception they may in future..
1. Fostering a safe, respectful environment
Many trans people and those who do not conform to gender norms report experiencing discrimination. This may be because of deliberate and overt treatment, or it may be the result of insensitivity and ignorance. Discrimination has a serious impact, not only on a person’s health and happiness, but also on their performance in study and at work. Some people may experience discrimination on multiple grounds, for example on the basis of their ethnicity as well as their gender identity.
People whose appearance does not conform to binary gender norms may be more vulnerable to harassment than those who successfully ‘pass’ as male or female. Persistently misgendering an individual with the wrong name or pronoun, and claiming to have done so accidentally, might be experienced as harassment by the person concerned. People who are perceived to be transgender, including those who are intersex, are protected from bullying and harassment, whether or not the perception is true.
A person associated with someone who is trans, and/or who undergoes gender reassignment (e.g. a partner or friend) is protected against discrimination on the grounds of that association.
Regent’s Park College condemns all forms of unlawful discrimination, victimisation, bullying, harassment and hate crime perpetrated against trans people.
- Direct discrimination occurs when a trans student or member of staff is treated less favourably than non-trans members of the Regent’s Park community, as a consequence of being trans or being perceived as trans.
- Indirect discrimination may arise where a policy, practice or criterion within Regent’s Park College that applies equally to all staff and students has an adverse impact upon trans staff and students that cannot be properly justified.
- Combined discrimination Regent’s Park College recognises that trans students and staff come from a wide range of varied backgrounds, and will strive to ensure they do not face discrimination in the College by staff, students and visitors on the grounds of their gender identity, or in relation to other aspects of their identity, for example, their race, age, religion, disability or sexual orientation. In addition, assumptions will not be made about the sex of partners of trans staff or students.
- Victimisation may occur when a trans person, or a person acting on their behalf, is treated less favourably because they have made a complaint that discrimination has occurred because they are trans. If, as a result of the complaint, harassment or further discrimination occurs, this would be ‘victimisation’.
- Bullying & Harassment are defined under Regent’s Park College Harassment Policy [/Non-academic Disciplinary Policy.]
- Hate crime is an incident that is motivated by hostility or prejudice towards a protected characteristic an individual is perceived to possess.
Whilst any such incidents will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, examples of inappropriate behaviours towards trans people may include (but are not limited to):
- Making jokes about trans people or their trans status;
- Denying or disputing the validity and/or existence of a trans person’s identity;
- Ostracising a trans person;
- A refusal to treat a person in accordance with their affirmed identity;
- Consistently using incorrect titles, pronouns or names to refer to a trans person (‘deadnaming’) especially where this causes distress, and the affirmed terms of address are known;
- Unduly intrusive or personal questioning (or any other conduct) which is unwanted, and has the purpose or the effect of violating the other person’s dignity;
- Inciting hatred or violence against trans people [explicitly or covertly];
- Cyber bullying;
- Physical violence of any kind.
2. Foster good relations between groups with a protected characteristic, and uphold lawful freedom of expression
The Equality Act 2010 affords protections on the basis of religion and belief, to people of faith, and those with a strongly held philosophical belief.
Lawfully expressed gender-critical beliefs must be held in balance with the dignity and respect of trans people, and with the College’s statement of commitment to trans inclusion.
Regent’s Park College respects the right of trans people to choose whether or not to participate in discussions or debates.
Regent’s Park College also respects the rights of those holding gender-critical beliefs which are to be protected, provided their expression does not constitute harassment as not respecting the rights and freedoms of others.