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The Government Transgender Action Plan

On the 8th of December 2011 the government officially launched the first ever transgender action plan. The plan commits government departments including the Department of Health, the Department of Work and Pensions, the UK Boarder Agency and the Government Equality Office, amongst others, to work actively to work towards promoting human rights and equality in the lives of trans people.

Here, on youtube, Equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, announces the launch of the first ever transgender action plan, plus trans activist, Harri Cole Weeks, talks about his personal experiences and why the action plan will make a difference.




The Government Equalities Office latest bulletin containing more information can be found by clicking here.

To see and to save a copy of the plan (in adobe reader pdf format), click here, or on the image below



Press for Change’s Opinion

The government has announced its first transgender action plan. The plan commits government departments including the Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions, the UK Boarder Agency and the Government Equality Office, amongst others, to work actively to work towards promoting human rights and equality in the lives of trans people.   Proposals include ensuring both job centres and business work together to ensure transgender people are recruited in to the work place, and that transgender people are made aware of the opportunities to participate in civil life.

Press for Change was formed in 1992 to seek respect and equality for all trans people.  Progressive laws over the last ten years have made trans people’s lives more comfortable in many ways.  However all of the gains made were as a consequence of decisions in the European Courts.  The action plan is the first time that government has progressed on areas of improvement, of their own volition.  Press for Change welcomes the action plan and the commitments made within it. 

We look forward to continuing our roll in advising government and hope that within a few years we will start to see significant improvement in transgender life quality. 

Proffessor of Equality Law, Stephen Whittle OBE, at Manchester Metropolitan University and Vice President of Press for  Change has said

“We really welcome this plan Press for Change is very grateful for the hard work of the very small team of Civil Servants within the Government Equality Office who have promoted this plan.  We believe this is just the start of a much wider collaboration between the transgender community and government.”

If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an appointment with Stephen Whittle, Please contact us;

Anwen Muston
Jane McQueen

Stephen Whittle


Some Background of the plan

The concept of the Transgender Action plan started back in March 2010 when representatives from 27 different trans groups and organisations across the UK were invited to the Government Equalities Office in Victoria London for a days workshop, they broke out into small working groups to identify the key areas they felt needed addressing.

By the end of that day they had identified 11 areas:

Identity And Privacy
Safety and Support
Community and Capacity
LGB and 'T'
Researching and Evidencing
Procurement and Services

After that the wheels of the Government Equality Offices moved slowly and there was the small thing of a General Election to run it's course before the groups and organisations were eventually invited back to London to continue working on these areas in December 2010, sadly the way the day was organised there was limited time to add specific issues to each area but still managed a fair amount.

The Minister of State for Equality (Lynne Featherstone) made a holding statement to the House on 16 December:

‘In June 2010 we announced our commitment to publish the first ever Government action plan on transgender equality by the end of 2011. Work to develop the action plan is progressing. Our firm commitment is to work with transgender groups to develop the action plan. As part of this, to date the Government Equalities Office has held two informal workshops involving invited members of the transgender community to seek their views on what action is needed to tackle the inequalities they experience. I attended the workshop which took place on 6 December 2010. Our engagement with the transgender community will continue throughout 2011 as we continue to develop the action plan.’

The GEO was unable to provide future hosting facilities for the groups to be able to meet up again, at this time it was agreed that this had to have the biggest chance of as many people being able to input to it, no one trans organisation would be taking the lead but working together on the formulation, and that it was essential that as many transgender people could have the chance to input into this. With that in mind the consortium of LGBT Voluntary community organisations kindly offered two workshops during their annual conference in January 2011 in Leeds for more input to be worked on by using some space and working in groups. This was followed up by a days meeting of groups in London, again kindly provided by the LGBT Consortium, further workshops followed in Manchester in July at the Sparkle event as part of the talks and presentations, and then again in September 2011 in Cardiff to coincide with the LGBT Health conference.

In addition to these group meetings, some organisations and individuals also had their own consultations with the GEO to offer additional input.

These workshops provided information for an ongoing document highlighting the issues that transgender people felt were important and relevent to their needs in the United Kingdon, the document was entitled the Statement of Need which is compiled and written by Paula Dooley, a volunteer and trustee of GIRES and found here. It has to be again stressed that there was considerable input to the statement of need, with more trans groups and organisations around the UK conducting their own workshops during their meetings and feeding these back, at the workshop during Sparkle in 2011 over 60 people attended.

This document along with the various online surveys that the Government Equalities Office conducted produced the input for the transgender action plan.