Training, resources and glossary

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It may be helpful to provide specific briefing sessions for colleagues or fellow students of people who are transitioning to enable them to raise any concerns and ask questions about appropriate behaviours. It is important that such a session gives both general information about transgender people and specific information about how the particular individual wants to be treated.


Possible sources of training within the University include:

  • The student LGBTQ Society, which holds regular open events for students;
  • The Oxford SU Officers, including the Transgender Reps;
  • Sarah Stephenson-Hunter, Equality and Diversity Unit;
  • The LGBT+ Advisory Group, including the Transgender Representative.

We are proud of the contribution of members of staff to raising awareness of trans issues both locally and nationally. One member of staff is actively involved with local youth groups for LGBT, and has worked with council officers and the Thames Valley Police on trans issues, while another contributed to a group article in the British Medical Journal to raise awareness of the experiences of trans patients.


GIRES Free e-learning resource: 
NHS Video stories of two people’s experience of transition:
Jay’s story:
Ruth’s story:
Gendered Intelligence Workshops:
OU LGBTQ Society (they have a trans students’ rep)
Oxford SU LGBTQ Campaign
Rainbow Peers Peer supporter scheme for LGBTQ students at the University 
LGBT+ Staff Network
Counselling Service
Disability Advisory Service
Equality and Diversity Unit
Action for Trans Health A trans pressure group, which has some ring-fenced funding for trans people of colour to access health care.
The Beaumont Society Support network for the transgender community
Depend Advice for family and friends of transgender people in the UK
Galop Supporting LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence
The Gender Trust Support and information centre for trans people and their families. Also provides advice for employers and others who encounter gender reassignment in their work.
Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) Initiates and promotes research into gender identity
Gendered Intelligence Offers a free mentoring service for trans students and those questioning their gender identity
Publishes guidance on supporting BAME trans people
GI also runs specific events for trans young people of colour
Mermaids Support group for gender variant children, teenagers and their families

Confidential mental health support line for people who identify in ways including trans, agender, gender fluid and non-binary, and their families

Tel. 0300 330 5468.

Press for Change Major support and lobbying organisation for UK trans people
Trans Media Watch Guidance for transgender people when dealing with the media
The UK Intersex Association (UKIA) Campaigns for and supports intersex people

Trans Unite

 Find a Transgender Support Group in your area
LGBT+ Oxfordshire Information on local services and sources of support
My Normal Arts based project to give LGBT+ youth safe spaces and a bigger voice in the community of Oxfordshire 
Topaz Oxfordshire Support group for LGBTQ+ young people in Oxfordshire and their family members

Preference for terminology can be highly individualised, i.e. a student or member of staff may wish to associate with a term which is perceived by others as inappropriate.

Terminology is also changing rapidly: this glossary therefore may not be comprehensive.

Cisgender Term used to describe a person whose sense of personal identity and gender corresponds with their birth sex; someone who is not trans or non-binary. Often shortened to ‘cis’. 
Cross-dresser See Dual role
Dual role A dual role occasionally wears clothing and/or makeup not traditionally associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Generally dual role people do not wish to transition and do not experience gender dysphoria. Historically the terms transvestite and cross-dresser were used to describe dual role people and some people may still use these terms for themselves, although other dual role people may see them as derogatory.
Gender dysphoria A medical condition when a person assigned to one gender (on the basis of their physical characteristics at birth) experiences a deep discomfort with that gender and identifies as belonging to another gender. In order to qualify for NHS medical assistance to transition, a trans person in the UK must currently have a diagnosis of gender dysphoria although many trans people reject the idea that experiencing gender dysphoria is a pre-requisite for being trans.
Gender expression Term used for the external characteristics and behaviours that are socially defined as male or female. Often, but not always, trans people seek to make their gender expression match their gender identity.
Gender identity A person’s internal perception and experience of their gender. For trans people their own sense of who they are does not match the sex assigned to them at birth.
Gender incongruence Term used to describe people whose gender identity does not align, to a greater or lesser extent, with the sex assigned at birth. 
Gender reassignment Legal term used in the  Equality Act 2010 to describe someone who ‘proposes to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex’ (Equality Act, 2010).
This is the protected characteristic that protects trans people from discrimination, victimisation and harassment in employment, education and when using services. Importantly, the act requires no medical supervision or interventions for a trans person to be afforded protection.
Genderqueer Term used for people with gender identities other than male or female, thus outside the gender binary. Genderqueer people may think of themselves as one or more of the following: both men and women (bigender, pangender); neither men nor women (genderless, agender); moving between genders (genderfluid); third gender or other-gendered; having an overlap of, or blurred lines between gender identity and sexual or romantic orientation.
Intersex People born with physical, hormonal or genetic features that are neither wholly female nor wholly male, or are a combination of female and male. This is a biological difference. Worldwide it is estimated that between 0.05 and 1.7% of babies are born with a blend of male and female characteristics. In some cases these are visible at birth, while in others they are not apparent until puberty. In contrast, many trans people are born with physical characteristics that match gender norms, but these do not match the gender they feel themselves to be. Intersex people do not fall within the umbrella transgender category, although they may face similar difficulties. In the past intersex babies were often subjected to surgery to try to make their appearance conform to binary sex norms, but many intersex adults report that this contributed to stigma and shame around their intersex traits. Now the approach is to wait until the individual is older. Some intersex people may choose to transition from one gender to another, but many do not.
Legal gender This is legal sex as recorded on a person’s birth certificate. External organisations such as HMRC can require this information. People who obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 may apply for a revised birth certificate in their acquired gender which then becomes their legal sex.
Non-binary A descriptive term used for people who identify outside of, or non-exclusively with, the categories ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Sex The two main categories (male and female) assigned to a person on the basis of primary sex characteristics (genitalia) at birth. In the UK this sex is included on a person’s birth certificate and is their legal sex within the country’s legal framework.
Sexual orientation A person’s emotional, romantic and/or sexual attraction to another person.
Trans See Transgender
Trans man A self-defined term for a person who was assigned female at birth, but who identities as male or towards the masculine end of the gender spectrum. They usually use male pronouns and are likely to transition fully to live as men. They may describe themselves as AFAB, which stands for ‘assigned female at birth’.  This is preferable to describing someone as ‘born female’ or ‘born a girl’, as it avoids conflating gender identity with physical characteristics. Some people also use DFAB (defined/designated female at birth) and CAFAB (coercively assigned female at birth).
Trans woman A self-defined term for a person who was assigned male at birth, but who identifies as female or towards the feminine end of the gender spectrum. They usually use female pronouns and are likely to transition to live fully as women. They may describe themselves as AMAB, which stands for ‘assigned male at birth’. This is preferable to describing someone as ‘born male’ or ‘born a boy’, as it avoids conflating gender identity with physical characteristics. Some people also use DMAB (defined/designated male at birth) and CAMAB (coercively assigned male at birth).
Transgender or trans An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. This includes, but is not limited to, trans people who feel a consistent and overwhelming desire to transition to their preferred gender. It also includes those who are gender fluid or non-binary.
Transitioning Term used to describe the process and steps an individual takes in order to live in the gender with which they identify, where this is different from the one assigned at birth. The new identity may be non-binary. Transitioning is a unique process for each individual and may include any number of changes to their life.
Transmisogyny Prejudice, discrimination and violence directed at trans women and transfeminine people due both to their trans status and their womanhood or femininity.
Transphobia Discrimination, harassment and bullying or hate crime experienced by trans people on the grounds of their gender identity and/or expression.
Transsexual Term formerly used to describe a person with gender dysphoria. Increasingly trans people prefer trans or transgender instead, although some may still use this term.
Transvestite See Dual role