Today was a day to do more trans awareness training. I do this in collaboration with Berkeley Wilde of The Diversity Trust, a non-profit company specializing in diversity issues (and of which I got asked to be a director on Saturday). Berkeley does the LGB part of the training, and I do the T.
Normally I don’t worry too much about these things. I’m used to standing up in front of an audience talking about being trans. Today was different, because our client was the Bristol office of the Salvation Army.
Yeah, these people.
Well, not exactly. The people we were training were staff from the organization’s social work division. Specifically they operate a shelter for the homeless. Legally they can’t discriminate against LGB people. Trans folk using such services are another matter because the Equality Act is crap, but I’ll spare you that rant again.
All of the people in the course were very respectful. Some of them were openly supportive. The feedback forms were unanimously positive. And they talked about trying to change the attitudes of some of their clients and colleagues. A couple of the class mentioned that they were committed Christians; one was a pastor.
Most surprisingly of all, given that Pink News article that I linked to above, they told us that their hiring processes anonymized applications so as to avoid bias. They were horrified when we told them that many companies check applicants’ social media profiles for evidence of “undesirable” traits.
Which just goes to show that you never can tell. Some of the most supportive people in the group were older women. I came away feeling quite good about humanity.