Many students coming to UEA will not have considered quite the diversity of people that they will meet during their time here. Trans* students (a group which includes, but is not limited to transgender, intersex, bi-gender, pangender and queer students) are a very welcome part of UEA’s social makeup. Both UEA and the Union are making efforts to ensure that Trans* students are made to feel welcome and included during their time at UEA.
Trans* students face many problems that cisgender (a person whose mental and physical gender have always been the same) students may not have considered. For example, choosing which toilets to use can pose a dilemma to students who are transitioning between genders, or the choice of whether or not to tell your friends or try and “pass” as your chosen gender.
The act of discriminating against someone based on their choice or rejection of gender will not be tolerated. The number of trans* hate crimes in recent years have been on the rise, however with the awareness campaigns being run by NUS, Unions and Universities, and many other groups around the country, hopefully this number will begin to fall.
If you are a trans* student who would like support during your time at UEA, you can contact the Union’s LGBT officer at union.LGBT@uea.ac.uk, or you can speak to the Dean of Students, which has staff available who are knowledgeable about gender identity issues.