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Thursday, 05 January 2012 05:36

Exploring Gender: Plan for Transgender Equality in the UK

Written by  Cael

Government Equalities Office


A recent plan created by the Government Equalities Office of the Home Office of the United Kingdom seeks to address the issue of transgender equality in the UK. Announced December 8th, the measure has gotten little media attention, leaving me to shift through only a couple of articles to come up with some pertinent information, some of which had lackluster coverage and others which displayed a lack of knowledge even of how to explain transgender properly, effectively demonstrating the need for some general education of the public about transgender individuals as proposed in the plan.

Outlined are several different measures, the first of which addresses the education of school age children in transgender awareness to decrease occurrences of bullying. Providing children with knowledge—or really anyone with knowledge—of the transgender community allows them to see the facts, to view and come to understand basically concepts which otherwise might be left up to them to figure out, and probably not through reliable sources. Coming to misconceptions of the community is very easy when you have no one from the community to address your questions or really any reliable public figures from whom to model your perceptions. In addition to the general education of children, the plan dictates a need for more support to be given to transgender children within the school system to provide an extra safeguard against bullying and hopefully also to help foster understanding within schools.

Second, the plan calls for a revision in hate crimes law to curb the increase in hate crimes perpetrated against transgender individuals. More stringent punishments, such as an increase in jail time, for perpetrators of these acts would be considered under the plan.

Each of these measures would help to create a better environment for the transgender community in the UK. Providing education is the key to creating a safer and healthier atmosphere, and providing that education to school age children is a great way to start.


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