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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SoR to tackle transgender issues

Transgender

A moving speech from Ross Baxter-McGhee from Scotland at ADC 2015 brought the issue of the treatment of transgender patients and staff into the spotlight.

Ross evoked the tragic story of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old transgender person who took her life last year after becoming isolated by her family due to her gender identity.

Ross spoke to a motion that called upon the SoR to release guidance to reps on supporting transgender colleagues and how patients should be clinically managed and supported.

He said: “In our working lives, we will undoubtedly meet a transgendered person at some point, whether they be a colleague or patient.”

Ross recalled how he had witnessed transphobia in the workplace as a student, saying that staff treated one patient  “like she was a fairground attraction”. 

He also described when he was training for his TUC Health and Safety certificate, one of his fellow students made disparaging remarks about a transgender woman he worked alongside, saying she “gave him the creeps”.

“This man was her trade union representative. If she needed any help, she would need to seek it from a man who found her creepy and weird simply for being who she was. Society cannot continue this way, we must educate,” Ross said.

The motion was carried.

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