Proud resource: Working with Trans people

Sometimes people do not feel confident in dealing with trans issues both inside and outside of the workplace. This 10 point list is intended to provide some very basic advice on how to approach certain situations. If you would like more information or support, you can contact PCS Proud’s Trans Member’s Rep by emailing

Trans flag
1. Respect a persons’ gender identity. Show this by using the preferred name, title and pronoun whether or not they are present.

2. Try to challenge other people’ inappropriate comments, and remember that disapproving silence can often be just as effective as speaking out.

3. Do not comment on a Trans person’s appearance or “passability” unless they specifically ask for your opinion.

4. Do not confuse Trans with sexual orientation. Trans people can be heterosexual, bisexual, asexual, lesbian or gay.

5. If you are unsure about which pronoun to use, use neutral terms until the Trans person discloses their preference or, if appropriate, ask.

6. If you make a mistake on gender title or pronoun apologise and move on. To make a fuss often just makes the situation worse.

7. Be sensitive about a person’s gender history or Trans status. Do not disclose it to anyone else unless absolutely necessary (and then with the person’s consent).

8. Question your own assumptions. Like everyone else Trans people are unique individuals. Not all have surgery or take hormones. Not all Trans women wear make-up and wear skirts.

9. Learn as much as you can about Trans communities and the needs of Trans people: remember ignorance is the root of most prejudice.

10. Lead by example: if you show acceptance and ease with a person’s affirmed gender, then the Trans person will be at ease, and your colleagues will have a good model to follow.

Working with Trans people poster