By Lyn Bowker, Equality and Diversity Manager
Today is international Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). People across the globe have used 20 November to remember those who have died because of transphobia every year since 1998.
The day remembers people who have been killed that year, by murder or suicide, as a result of their perceived transgendered identity.
Those people may have been transsexual, intersex, cross dressers or others, or they may have been mistaken for someone else. But their lives were ended because they did not conform to the gender roles that other people expected of them.
TDoR began on 28 November 1998 to honour Rita Hester, whose murder on that day kicked off the Remembering Our Dead web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999.
Rita Hester’s murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.
Already a passionate LGBT supporter and a Stonewall Top 100 employer, Riverside has this year focused our attention on trans inclusion.
Staff have been invited to train as trans allies, arming them with the tools to understand the needs of trans colleagues and customers. We’ve reviewed our policies to ensure they are gender-neutral and trans-inclusive and have offered advice and guidance for transitioning colleagues and their managers in our Transitioning at Work policy and procedures.
Our HR and recruitment systems also give several alternative gender identities, beyond ‘male’, ‘female’ and ‘other’.
Trans employee Danielle Oliver has been supported to produce a trans toolkit, giving valuable guidance to staff and helping to remove potential barriers for trans customers when repairs operatives visit their homes. I am currently working with Danielle to finalise the document.
At Riverside, we believe that staff should be able to be themselves in the workplace so it’s important that trans-inclusion becomes part of what we do. We’re proud of the work we have done so far to help trans colleagues and customers and are looking forward to the finding even more ways to make us a truly inclusive employer.