Riverside focuses on trans equality

Riverside has reinforced its commitment to becoming a transgender-inclusive organisation on an international day celebrating the trans community.

International Transgender Day of Visibility is dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of the discrimination they face.Trans Day of Visibility Stonewall poster

The event was founded by US-based activist Rachel Crandall in 2009 as a reaction to the lack of LGBT events celebrating transgender people.

Before this, the only truly transgender event was Transgender Day of Remembrance which mourned the murders of transgender people, but did not acknowledge and celebrate living members of that community.

Lyn Bowker, Riverside’s Equality and Diversity Manager said: “This is a very important date for us at Riverside as it helps to remind us all about the daily struggles that transgender people can face in society.

“Through the activities we do with our LGBT staff group Spectrum, we are raising awareness of what it means to be a transgender person and what barriers members of this community face on a daily basis.

“This year we are strengthening our structures and frameworks in the workplace to provide opportunities for greater transgender equality and to provide policies to support employees who may be considering or undergoing transition.

“We also have plans to create gender neutral toilets in our larger offices.”

John Glenton, Executive Director Care and Support and Co-chair of Spectrum added: “One of our current projects is establishing a network of trans allies who will help Riverside support transgender colleagues and customers who do not conform to gender expectations. Our long term aim is become a truly trans-inclusive organisation.

“Riverside ran a hugely successful LGBT tenants conference last year, which was attended by over 30 of our customers from all over the country. We invited a trans comedienne, Alison Stokes, who led a comedy workshop, based on trans awareness and acceptance.

“We are already starting to plan this year’s event, which will take place in June and the themes we will be looking at are the experiences of older LGBT people in supported housing and the issues faced by bisexual staff and customers.”