Supporting inclusion for transgender people

November 13 to 19 is Trans Awareness Week – a chance for everyone to stand up and be a trans ally, celebrate the trans and gender diverse community, and spread all-important awareness and education. This is a one-week celebration leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance on Friday 20 November, which memorializes victims of transphobic violence.

On this important week Rotary stands with the trans and gender diverse communities to say we will not accept transphobia and we stand with trans and gender diverse communities on their path to inclusion. This is crucially important now more than ever when so many of our members and community may be feeling isolated and needing some extra support.

You can learn more about trans allyship, the significance of trans awareness week and download a range of digital resources on the Minus18 website.

Trans and gender diverse people are one of the most vulnerable groups at risk of poor health and wellbeing outcomes in Australia.  They are more likely to experience depression, discrimination, harassment, social isolation and humiliation compared to the general population.

Rotary values diversity and celebrates the contributions of people of all backgrounds and we commitment to ensuring a safe, welcoming and inclusive organisation for everyone. See the practical things you can do to increase your understanding and show respect.

Be an ally for transgender Rotary members and the trans community

The LGBT Rotarians and Friends Fellowship has created a trans ally tip sheet to distribute at your club. GLADD recommends a range of actions we can take to be a trans ally, including:

  • Remember that you cannot tell if someone is transgender just by looking.
  • Don’t make assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation.
  • Don’t ask a transgender person what their “real name” is.
  • Respect the terminology a transgender person uses to describe their identity.
  • Don’t ask about a transgender person’s genitals, surgical status, or sex life – if it’s inappropriate to ask a cisgender (non-trans) person, it’s inappropriate to ask a trans person.
  • Support all-gender public restrooms.
  • At meetings and events, set an inclusive tone by introducing people with their pronouns (“Hi, I’m Nick and I use he/him pronouns”) and avoiding gendered terms like “ladies and gentlemen”.
  • Put words into practice, attend TGD inclusion events and bring your fellow club members

Use preferred pronouns and learn about inclusive language

He/him? She/her?  They/them? Asking everyone to include their pronouns on name tags at club meetings and in email signatures. This signals support for the trans community and is a powerful education piece, helping people understand the importance of using individual’s preferred pronouns. It reduces the chances that people will mistakenly misgender someone who is trans or gender diverse. You can also check out this LGBTIQ inclusive language guide, by the Victorian Government in Australia.

Support and promote the LGBT Rotarians and Friends Fellowship.

Global research has shown that employee pride network groups play a vital role in delivering workplace equality for LGBTQ+ people. In Rotary, the LGBT Rotarians and Friends Fellowship is our pride network. The fellowship is dedicated to promoting global friendship, service and education, aiming to create an inclusive, understanding and welcoming community, fostering goodwill and peace, and realising a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for LGBTQ+ people.