Hello and welcome.
This site is all about working with transgendered individuals, and the training that’s available from other providers for professionals, counsellors, therapists and organisations about transgender, transsexual and gender variant people. We hope that you find it useful and informative. We see variant gender identity as being part of a spectrum on which male and female are at the polarities, and also as something that may be fluid at different times in a life.
“Transgendered and transsexual people have probably always been present in any given society and are often invisible.”
It’s estimated that 1 percent of the population experiences feelings of gender variance – that is, that their internal feeling of being a man or a woman is at odds with their physical sex – and that in the UK 0.02 percent of people seek medical treatment to change their sex (GIRES 2007). In the UK to date, some 12,500 people have asked for treatment, and the numbers coming forward annually are estimated to be doubling every several years.
There are in addition a significant number of people who, while not asking for treatment, still feel differently about their gender and would like support and recognition. These people might be known as gender variant, gender queer, or gender non-conforming, amongst other terms currently in use.
Since the Gender Recognition Act in 2004, in which the British government passed legislation allowing transsexuals to change their birth certificates and to protect their rights and privacy, there has been a requirement in law for organisations and employers to protect transsexuals from discrimination in the workplace, yet a subsequent report found that many such employees were subject to abuse, harassment and were forced to leave their jobs.
”Lack of knowledge and training about this population leads to fear and ignorance and ultimately to discrimination.”
Many trans people have sought counselling and have reported feeling unable to reveal their feelings and experience about their gender to their counsellor, for fear of being misunderstood or pathologised.
This population experiences discrimination and misunderstanding on a wide scale, and while attitudes are gradually changing there is a need for much education in this area.