20 November is Transgender Day of Remembrance. A day when trans people, and their allies, remember those who have been killed as a direct result of transphobia. First observed in 1999 to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who lived in Massachusetts, the day has grown to become an internationally recognised event which draws attention to the continued violence endured by trans people.
As your equalities officer, I want to make it clear that I consider myself to be a trans ally. I stand in solidarity with our trans members and the wider trans community today and every day in the fight for trans equality.
UNISON City of Edinburgh branch is fully committed to trans equality. We have provided our draft trans policy, developed in conjunction with the Scottish Trans Alliance, to City of Edinburgh Council senior management. On a regular basis, we have distributed copies of our “How to be a good ally to trans people at work” leaflet within various workplaces. We have also led the way in calling for the trans pride flag to be flown atop the City Chambers building on the Royal Mile today, to mark Trans Day of Remembrance. The flag was flown on 17 May to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia and 22 June to celebrate Edinburgh Pride.
We know that the Scottish Government’s announcement, back in June, to delay reforms to the Gender Recognition Act has led to an increasingly challenging and difficult time for the trans community. An announcement is expected shortly which will outline the details of a second public consultation so we will provide an update when we have more information.
UNISON is hosting a stall in the courtyard area of Waverley Court between 12 – 2pm today. There will be copies of our “How to be a good ally to trans people at work” leaflet along with some other useful documents about the LGBT+ self-organised group. More information, including our draft trans policy, can be found at www.unison.org.uk/out
If you are experiencing issues within the workplace, please get in contact with our branch on 0131 558 7488 or myself using the details below.
Michael Richardson (Pronouns: He/Him)
07565 898 554