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TRANSforming Futures is a partnership formed by leading trans equality organisations and projects including Be:North, Mermaids, All About Trans, Gendered Intelligence, LGBT Consortium, CliniQ, Sparkle, Stonewall, Galop and the Gender Identity Research and Education Society. Together, we’re working to make lasting change for trans people across England. 

This project’s prime concern is to ensure that it truly meets the needs and priorities of the trans communities in England. To do this, we’ve conducted workshops with trans people (including those with non-binary identities) where they shared their experiences accessing healthcare and the criminal justice system, as well as coming up with proposed solutions for the identified problems that will shape the implementation of this project. 

You can read more about the reports we’ve published from the consultations with over 18’s here

We are now at the stage to conduct the workshops with under 18’s to learn more about the experiences of trans/ non-binary young people with health care and legal and justice systems.

Why was the TRANSforming Futures project set up?

Trans people in England are facing huge levels of abuse and inequality right now. In the UK two in five trans people (41 per cent) have had a hate crime committed against them in the last year, and a third of trans people (32 per cent) have experienced unequal treatment when accessing vital healthcare services. These alarming statistics show why this project is so necessary. 

What are the outcomes of this project?

We know trans people currently face many obstacles and in some cases discrimination, when accessing healthcare and/or interacting with legal and justice systems. We want this project to change the way trans people access these services, but also how these services can better include trans people. If we can do this in a way that is inclusive and supportive, it would make a hugely positive difference in the lives of trans people.

What is the duration of TRANSforming Futures?

This project launched in 2019 and will be running over five years, but we’re aiming to create lasting change for trans communities and want this work to continue beyond this programme.

How can I get involved?

Trans-lived experiences are at the heart of this project. To gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges that we need to overcome, we need to hear from trans people from all walks of life. 

Throughout May, we’ll be hosting our under 18’s consultations alongside our partner organisation Gendered Intelligence. Here at Mermaids, we’ll be hosting consultations with parents to hear about the experiences of children and young people aged 12 and under.

You can register your interest to take part here https://forms.gle/q45WEvUCWQVNLZfb6

If your child is 13+ and would like to take part in a consultation group themselves, they can do this with Gendered Intelligence by…..

What is the consultation and why is it needed?

These consultations are about asking parents of trans young people (aged 12 and under) to tell us about their personal experiences of accessing healthcare and legal and justice systems. In order to understand what needs to change with these services, we need to hear from families about their issues, concerns and priorities. 

What we hear and the information we gather from these sessions will point us in the direction of what changes need to happen so all trans people have fair and equal access to vital frontline services.

How will the consultation be conducted?

The consultation will consist of small group sessions, facilitated over Zoom. These sessions will provide a safe space and open environment for those taking part to share their personal experiences of accessing healthcare and legal and justice systems.

Who can take part in these consultations?

  • If your child identifies as trans, including non-binary and/or a person with a trans history
  • You are based in England 

You can register your interest in taking part here https://forms.gle/q45WEvUCWQVNLZfb6

My child is over 12, can I still take part?

Our partner organisation Gendered Intelligence is running consultation groups with young people aged 13+ to hear about their experiences directly. If you’d be interested in getting involved with that, let us know and we can send you some more information.

What’s your definition of trans?

Trans is an umbrella term for people whose gender is not the same as, or does not sit comfortably with, the sex they were assigned at birth. 

This includes people who may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms, including (but not limited to) transgender, transsexual, gender-queer (GQ), gender-fluid, non-binary, gender-variant, crossdresser, genderless, agender, nongender, third gender, bi-gender, trans man, trans woman, trans masculine, trans feminine and neutrois.

My child is questioning their gender identity, can I take part? 

Absolutely! This consultation is open to people who are questioning their gender identity. All trans experiences are valid and we are keen to hear from you.

How will I be protected if I take part?

Everything shared during the sessions will be kept anonymous and the information we collect will be stored and handled in accordance with data protection legislation. We also recognise that talking about personal experiences can have an emotional impact so at the start of the session you’ll be reminded of organisations you can go to for further support.

I’d like to take part but I don’t want my name to be made public, can I be anonymous?

Yes – we will protect the anonymity of all participants and the information you share will be stored and handled in accordance with data protection legislation. 

Where will the consultation findings go?

The findings of the consultation will go directly towards informing the aims and activities of the next stage of the project. We want to hear from trans people about their experiences so we can find out what needs to happen to make sure frontline services are meeting the needs of the trans community.

How much time will it take?

The consultation sessions will run over Zoom and will take around 2 hours.

What about accessibility?

We want everyone to be able to fully participate in our consultation events, we’re committed to doing everything we can to accommodate any reasonable adjustments that you require. Details of any adjustments you require can be included in your response to our screening tool. 

Do I need to be an expert?

Absolutely not. This consultation is about hearing trans people’s everyday experiences of accessing healthcare and legal and justice systems services. Whether that’s good, bad, or somewhere in between, we want to hear it all. It has nothing to do with being an ‘expert’.

Will there be any identity-specific sessions? 

Yes – we will be running a focus group for Black, Asian and minority ethnic people / people of colour.

Who will lead these consultations?

All consultations will be facilitated by Mermaids staff members alongside a researcher who will explain more about the project and a scribe who will take anonymised notes throughout the session.

How will I be kept updated on the project? 

If you register your interest in taking part, we will keep in contact with you via email. 

I’m not trans, can I still be involved?

No, not as part of this project – but there are many other ways to get involved with our work for trans equality, visit Come Out for Trans Equality to find out more.

Who are the project partners?

TRANSforming Futures is a partnership between All About Trans, Be:North, CliniQ, Galop, Gendered Intelligence, the Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES), LGBT Consortium, Mermaids, Sparkle and Stonewall.

Why were these groups selected?

The founding partners were selected as they are leading national organisations and projects with a wealth of experience working to advance equality for trans people. As the project continues, we’ll be reaching out to new partners to ensure we represent the diverse experiences of trans people across England. 

Is there still space for other organisations to join?

Of course. As the programme develops over the next five years, we want to have new partners join from different parts of England and from different communities.

What do you mean by healthcare?

The healthcare system covers all the services that meet our health needs. For example, primary care and GP services, Gender Identity Clinics, nursing, hospital care, pharmacies, dentists, mental health services, sexual and reproductive health services and health visitors.    

What do you mean by legal and justice systems?

Legal and justice systems covers a range of things. Firstly, it encompasses criminal justice – any experiences interacting with courts and police as well as how people more widely find recourse after experiencing injustice. For young people, this could include things such as bullying and the systems in place to prevent and deal with it.

It also includes interactions with administrative legalities, such as name changes and formal changes of legal sex, etc. There will be space and time in the consultation sessions to talk about this more broadly and discuss other areas that you think fall under this heading too.

Where is the funding from?

This project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. 

How is the funding being used? 

The funding is being used to create positive and lasting change for trans communities by ensuring that healthcare and criminal justice services are inclusive and supportive of trans people and meeting the needs of the community.

Is this political? Does it involve lobbying?

No – this is a community-based initiative, led by a partnership of trans charities and projects. We will be gathering information on the experiences of trans people which will inform our work to improve trans people’s access to and experience of healthcare and criminal justice services.