Many trans people and those who do not conform to gender norms report experiencing discrimination. This may be because of deliberate and overt treatment, or it may be the result of insensitivity and ignorance. Discrimination has a serious impact, not only on a person’s health and happiness, but also on their performance in study and at work. Some people may experience discrimination on multiple grounds, for example on the basis of their ethnicity as well as their gender identity.
People whose appearance does not conform to binary gender norms may be more vulnerable to harassment than those who successfully ‘pass’ as male or female. Persistently ‘accidentally’ addressing an individual with the wrong name or pronoun might be experienced as harassment by the person concerned. People who are perceived to be transgender, including those who are intersex, are protected from bullying and harassment, whether or not the perception is true.
A person associated with someone who undergoes gender reassignment (e.g. a partner or friend) is protected against discrimination on the grounds of that association.
The University recognises the right of every individual to choose whether to be open about their gender identity and history. Any unlawful discriminatory behaviour, including transphobic harassment or bullying by individuals or groups, will be regarded extremely seriously and could be grounds for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion or dismissal. Such behaviour will be dealt with under the University Policy on Harassment and Bullying: www.admin.ox.ac.uk/eop/harassmentadvice.