Gender Identity and Trans

A person’s understanding of their gender is their gender identity.

Most people have a gender identity which is in line with the sex they were assigned at birth and the gender role society has attributed to that sex, i.e. female children are likely to be socialised as women. People who identify as trans usually have a gender identity that varies with their apparent physical birth sex and/or social gender roles that are imposed on us all.

Trans is a wide umbrella term for a wide range of identities and states of being. What trans identities share is that they are to do with an individual’s gender identity and gender expression. Trans people often reject the gender they were assigned at birth and sometimes reject gender binary concepts, choosing not to identify with any particular gender. They often express their identity as ‘gender queer’ and avoid gendered pronouns such as ‘she’ and ‘he’.

In the 2011-2012 Diversity survey less than 1 per cent (0.4 per cent) of non-student and student staff and 3 per cent of student officers disclosed that they have gone through a process (including thoughts or actions) to change from the sex/gender they were described as at birth to the gender they identify with, or that they intend to.


Beaumont Society

UK charity providing the longest established transgender support group in the UK. The Beaumont Society provides self-help resources for the trans and cross-dressing community, plus training events and campaigning for inclusion and awareness.

Gendered Intelligence

Gendered Intelligence is a community interest company that looks to engage people in debates about gender. The organisation provides a youth group for young trans people (aged 13-25), one-on-one mentoring for trans students in education, support for families, arts programmes and workshops, training sessions, resources and events.

Gender Neutral Toilets Briefing

This NUS LGBT Students’ Campaign briefing contains information about gender-neutral toilets (GNTs): why they are important and how you can campaign to install them in your own union.

Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES)

A charity promoting research and understanding of gender identity and provides a wide range of support for trans people and those who care for them including resources for the Department of Health.

Forum for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Post-School Education

The Forum brings together partner organisations to co-ordinate work that advances sexual orientation and gender identity equality in post-school education. The Forum provides information, advice and guidance, including a guidance report on trans equality in post school education.


Charity supporting children and young people with gender identity issues and their families.

Out in sport: Supporting trans students in sport

NUS briefing for students' unions on how to improve the experiences of trans students in sport.

Press for Change

Lobbying and legal support organisation funding legal challenges to improve equality for trans people. Also offers legal advice, training and research.

Supporting a student or member of staff who is transitioning

An Equality Challenge Unit guide for HR staff, managers and staff supporting students, which outlines the steps to take to support a student or staff member who is transitioning gender (the process of moving from one gender to another, with or without medical intervention).

The Gender Trust

Charity supporting trans people and all those affected by gender identity issues including advice and training for employers and help supporting individual employees through transition.

Transgender Equality Guidance

The Equality and Human Rights Commission provides a range of guidance to support transgender equality on areas such as: recruiting and supporting trans people, Codes of Practice relating to gender equality legislation, an overview of transgender discrimination and privacy rights for transsexual people.

Trans staff and students in higher education: revised 2010

This Equality Challenge Unit guidance covers issues relating to trans staff and students and will help institutions to meet their legal responsibilities, ensure their policies and procedures better meet the needs of trans people, and most importantly, provide effective support to staff and students during transition.

Trans Students Guide

A guide from the NUS LGBT Students’ Campaign which provides information on becoming trans-inclusive for student activists and officers.