DEAR DEIDRE: A TRANSGENDER person has joined my team at work, and it’s causing confusion.
They insist on being called ‘they’ or ‘them’ but people keep getting it wrong and calling them ‘he’. I’ve even done it a few times by mistake.
The new team member is very upset and says being misgendered is discriminatory. They’re 29 and have only recently come out as trans.
They worked for the company before in a different department, so everyone knew them as a man with a male name – which is one reason people keep slipping up.
Some of the team are refusing to use the correct pronouns because they don’t agree with it.
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DEIDRE SAYS: It can take time to get used to a long serving member of staff with a new identity.
Talk to them and ask them to be understanding of genuine mistakes.
It’s also important you talk to your team and ask them to be respectful of other people’s choices.
Regardless of their personal opinions, encourage everyone to use their new name and chosen pronouns.
Deliberately deadnaming and misgendering is likely to be seen as hostility based on gender identity.
Employment law protects people against hostility based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Get in touch with Deidre
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