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17 May 2022

A Statement of Support for Transgender and Non-Binary Colleagues on Behalf of the ELFT LGBTQ+ Staff Network

Today, 17 May, marks International Day of Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). This annual awareness day aims to highlight global violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and non-binary people to drive positive change.

Over recent months, the public debate around gender identity has intensified. As a collective of NHS LGBTQ+ Staff Networks in north east London, we want to issue a strong statement of support to our trans and non-binary colleagues working within our CCG and Trusts, as well as any one working within health and care across North East London Health and Care Partnership.

Research by Stonewall and TransActual shows that the trans and non-binary community experience inequality and high levels of discrimination across all areas of life, including within the workplace.

In addition, the media and prominent voices on social media often sensationalise and misrepresent the conversation on gender identity. This has led to hostility towards the trans and non-binary community, and a prominent rise in transphobic hate crime.

We want to make clear that as an NHS organisation we have a zero tolerance approach to discrimination, victimisation or harassment on the basis of a person’s gender identity. We also actively support all colleagues who are working out their gender identity within the workplace.

Our LGBTQ+ Staff Network is committed to taking steps to make sure that we:

  • Treat all our colleagues, no matter what their gender identity, in a dignified and non-discriminatory way.
  • Support any colleagues in relation to their gender identity, including transitioning at work.
  • Help all our colleagues to be more aware about gender identity matters.
  • Treat any issues of bullying and harassment in relation to trans or non-binary identity issues seriously, in line with organisation policies.

It’s important that we feel able to bring our authentic selves to the workplace – for some people that can be harder than others due to fear of stigma of being judged or treated differently. We must do all we can to encourage colleagues to be LGBTQ+ allies and be proud to be working within kind, fair, and inclusive organisations.

Signed on behalf of the LGBTQ+ Staff Network for East London NHS Foundation Trust