Working with transgender individuals

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Working with transgender individuals

Postby AJ555 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 2:55 pm

At my current place of work, we have a service user who is transgender and identifies as male (female to male). I have always addressed him as male.
However one of my colleagues (his support worker) keeps referring to him as she and when writing up notes also refers to him as she.

I just wondered what the consensus is around writing notes when working with individuals who identify as the opposite gender. I asked my colleague why she keeps addressing him as "she" when he wants to be known as male, and she kept referring to the fact he is still legally/officially female.
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Re: Working with transgender individuals

Postby Victoriomantic » Sun Oct 29, 2017 5:35 pm

Personally I would use the client's preferred pronouns and name in notes, but on their ID fields on their file, their legal name and gender would probably need to be used. I'd make a note somewhere visible (e.g. I use IAPTus and we have a personalised care section under clients' names) that they identify as transgender and what their preferred name/pronouns are. IAPTus also has a "preferred name" field which comes up with (for example) "Joseph (Joe) Bloggs" so I would use "Legal Name (Chosen Name) Surname".

Certainly the person shouldn't be referred to with the wrong names/pronouns when because directly spoken to. Many transgender individuals have not yet/will not ever change their name or transition legally but this shouldn't affect how they are spoken to.
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Re: Working with transgender individuals

Postby maven » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:46 pm

I'd see it as profoundly disrespectful and offensive, and I'd raise that with a manager. Transgender individuals are at massive risk of harm and self-harm, and we should do everything within our power to minimise stigma and respect their chosen identity.
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Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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Re: Working with transgender individuals

Postby workingmama » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:01 pm

Your colleague is misinformed. If your client is transsexual (not any other category of transgender), then they have the legally protected right to be recognised by the correct pronouns, prefix, and name from the very first day that they state they wish for this (assuming they are over 18 in UK). I have experience in providing guidance to organisations on affirming work with trans service users and colleagues, and am happy to be PMd if you need further information.
Fail, fail again, fail better.
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Re: Working with transgender individuals

Postby CellarDoor » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:57 pm

I agree that this is utterly offensive / disrespectful. It sounds possibly like ignorance on their part rather than deliberate disrespect though... hopefully.
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