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Trans Toolkit

Legislation and Policy

Gender Reassignment and the Equality Act (2010)

The Equality Act 2010 says that you must not be discriminated against because you are transsexual - that is your gender identity differs from the gender assigned to you at birth.

  • For example a person who was born female decides to spend the rest of his life as a man.

In the Equality Act it is known as gender reassignment. All transsexual people share the common characteristic of gender reassignment.

While the Equality Act uses the term transsexual, King's uses trans as an umbrella term to describe people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from their sex assigned at birth and includes people who live permanently or temporarily in one or more genders.

What are trans rights? 

The Gender Recognition Act (2004) says that to be protected from gender reassignment discrimination, you do not need to have undergone any specific treatment or surgery to change from your birth sex to your preferred gender. This is because changing your physiological or other gender attributes is a personal process rather than a medical one. You can be at any stage in the transition process – from proposing to reassign your gender, to undergoing a process to reassign your gender, or having completed it.  

The Equality Act says that you must not be discriminated against because:

  • Of your gender reassignment as a transsexual. You may prefer the description transgender person or trans male or female. A wide range of people are included in the terms ‘trans’ or ‘transgender’ but you are not protected as transgender unless you propose to change your gender or have done so. For example, a group of men on a stag do who put on fancy dress as women are turned away from a restaurant. They are not transsexual so not protected from discrimination.
  • Someone thinks you are transsexual, for example because you occasionally cross-dress or are gender variant. This is known as discrimination by perception.
  • You are connected to a transsexual person, or someone wrongly thought to be transsexual. This is known as discrimination by association.

Intersex people are not explicitly protected from discrimination by the Act, but you must not be discriminated against because of your gender or perceived gender.

Gender Reassignment at King's 

King’s College London is committed to equality of opportunity and values the diversity of its staff and student body. King's commits to providing a safe and inclusive environment where students and staff are enable to achieve their potential. This commitment includes the provision of support to individuals who wish to take, or have taken, steps to present themselves in a gender different to their gender assigned at birth. Furthermore, the university will not tolerate discrimination, victimisation or harassment on the basis of a person’s gender identity or history.

The Trans Equality Guidance documents outline the commitments King's College London has made in order to embed equality for trans students and staff across the institution, and provides practical guidance for staff supporting trans individuals.

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