Uncategorized

Want to talk to someone?

Whether you want to meet students with similar experiences, are looking for counselling, or wish to speak to a professional, here’s what you should know.

Want to meet students with similar experiences?

Prefer to talk to someone one-on-one?

Need an advocate to help you through the system?

Looking for a professional counsellor at the University?

Looking for NHS support?

Looking for a private specialist?


Want to meet students with similar experiences?

If you want to meet other students, you could consider joining us for T-Time, a.k.a. the University of Bath SU LGBT+ Society Trans Network. This is a student-led support group for everyone interested in trans- and gender-related topics. It is open to everyone, regardless of gender identity; you are not obliged to disclose your identity, and no one will make assumptions.

We run meetings in a confidential location on a weekly basis. There are also various informal events, including (fairly) regular café hangouts. We’re a casual bunch, so if you want to come along, you can email the LGBT+ Trans Rep, or contact them on Facebook to join the group page.

Relevant contact: LGBT+ Trans Rep

Top

Prefer to talk to someone one-on-one?

If you’d rather talk to someone one-on-one, the LGBT+ Trans Rep is here to help. You can chat in person, over the phone or by email. Of course, this is completely confidential. Feel free to get in touch any time.

Relevant contact: LGBT+ Trans Rep

Top

Need an advocate to help you through the system?

The LGBT+ Trans Rep’s job is to act as an advocate for trans students. This covers a variety of areas. For example, if you:

– Want support in explaining your trans status to a personal tutor
– Would like someone to come with you to the Student Records Office to ask about a name change
– Feel that a member of staff is lacking information about trans issues, but don’t feel comfortable educating them yourself

then the LGBT+ Trans Rep will be happy to give you advice, or even accompany you in person to provide support.

Relevant contact: LGBT+ Trans Rep

Top

Looking for a professional counsellor at the University?

The University provides a free counselling service to students. Information is available here. These counselors are able to provide a supportive and informed service to trans students, and receive awareness training on the subject.

Relevant contact: The Counselling and Wellbeing Team. You can make an appointment with a counsellor here.

Top

Looking for NHS support?

The University Medical Centre on campus can provide for your medical needs, including referring you to a Gender Identity Clinic, counselor or psychologist. You can find information about NHS treatment for transgender people here (from the NHS website) or here (from GIRES, a national transgender charity, which has more in-depth information).

For more information and common questions about accessing NHS services at the UMC, click here.

Relevant contact: The best way to contact the University of Bath Medical Centre is to attend in person, or phone 01225 386 655.

Top

Looking for a private specialist?

There are a variety of counselling and psychiatric services available in Bath. You can also find voice therapists and hair removal clinics nearby. Nationally, there are not many gender specialists, but you can find them by searching online. We don’t endorse any specific businesses, but if you want recommendations, you might want to attend a T-Time meeting, where you can ask others for advice.

Relevant contact: Google

Top

Advertisements

Changing your student records

Everyone loves a bit of bureaucracy in their lives. Here’s some helpful information to get you through it.

Remember that, in all cases, the staff are obliged to respect your privacy. Everything listed below is purely an administrative matter; you do not need to explain or answer unnecessary questions regarding your name change or transition.

Note: The sections below only refer to the University’s administrative system. For information about changing other documents, or making legal changes, click here.

Common procedures

Changing your name in student records

Changing your title in student records

Changing your gender in student records

Changing your University of Bath username


Answers

Changing your name in student records

To change your name on your records, you should contact the Student Records and Examinations Office directly. You will need to show a deed poll or other legal evidence of your name change. You can email them, or just visit the office in person.

Under UK law, anyone is allowed to use whichever name they choose, as long as they are not doing so in order to commit fraud. In practice, various organizations may wish to see official documentation of a name change before updating your records. A degree certificate is a legal document, which is why the University is required to ask for proof of your name change.

Be aware that, due to the way in which student records are entered into the system, some people have found that their names have been updated in Samis before they are updated in the relevant academic department or other systems. The SREO is in the process of developing a more streamlined procedure to avoid privacy issues.

Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no way for you to list more than one name in your student record. For instance, you can’t have mail sent to a former name while being registered under a new name. Hopefully this system will improve in the future,  but there is still work to do.

It is also worth noting that your personal ‘people’ page will need updating seperately, if you have one. You can find this over at https://people.bath.ac.uk/<username> , where <username> is your username (ie abc12).

Relevant contact: Student Records and Examinations Office

Top

Changing your title in student records

To change your title on your records, all you need to do is email the Student Records and Examinations Office with this request. As of 2013 there is a gender-neutral title option, Mx, which you are also able to use.

Under UK law, titles are not related to legal gender. Anyone who tells you that you need to submit legal proof in order to use a different title is incorrect. You can use any non-protected title you want as long as you do not intend to commit fraud. (In other words, you can call yourself Mr or Ms freely, but calling yourself Dr is not permitted.)

This right was established during the European Court of Human Rights case of Christine Goodwin vs. United Kingdom, 2002. If anyone challenges you on this matter, you can refer them to the UK Deed Poll website.

Relevant contact: Student Records and Examinations Office

Top

Changing your gender in student records

There is currently no official procedure for changing your gender on your records. The Trans Rep and University administration are working together to resolve this. In the meantime, however, you should be able to change your gender on your records if it is done in conjunction with a legal name change. For more information, contact the SREO directly, or ask the LGBT+ Trans Rep for the latest updates and advice.

Relevant contact: Student Records and Examinations Office and LGBT+ Trans Rep

Top

Changing your University of Bath username

Officially there is no procedure for changing your username, which is based on your initials when you first register with the University of Bath. (This is a problem not only for trans students,  but also for people who have changed their name following marriage or divorce, for instance.) However, technically, the Computing Services is able to provide you with a new account, and ensure that information is forwarded from the old account. You may have to be persistent in order to accomplish this but it has been done before. If you are having trouble, you can speak to the LGBT+ Trans Rep.

Relevant contact: Computing Services has an office in the University Library, and the easiest way to speak to them is simply to visit the office. Alternatively, there is a help form available online here.

Top

Changing your official documents

Click below for more information about:

If you’d like to hear from other students who have been through this process, or would like to ask for further advice, you can speak to the Trans Rep, or attend one of our meetings. Although it’s often useful to get help from others, you should always check official government sources, because the laws are changing quickly (hooray!) and can be complicated (not hooray).

The Advice and Representation Centre may be able to point you in the right direction if you need additional legal advice. However, it is not guaranteed that the person you speak to will have any trans-specific knowledge or training.

* Note: This webpage does not provide information about changing your gender on your driving license. No evidence is needed for a change of gender, although it may be helpful to do so in conjunction with a change of name and deed poll. You will need to contact the DVLA for more information.

Toilets and changing rooms

Accessing toilets on campus

Using the changing rooms


Which toilets am I allowed to use?

Trans students are permitted to use the toilets that match their gender presentation (in other words, the way that they’re dressed). Obviously, gender presentation is subjective, and this policy doesn’t address the needs of many trans and non-binary individuals. You are allowed to use the accessible accessible toilets if you feel it is important for your comfort or safety. There are also gender-neutral toilets in Parade Bar and on the lower levels of the 2E building. You will also find gender-neutral toilets signposted in other buildings, which are accessible but open to anyone.

Your right to access these facilities is affirmed by the Equality Act 2010 (which you can read here) and the University’s Statement of Equality Objectives (available here), although to our knowledge this issue is not explicitly mentioned in any University policies. If you run into any difficulty, you should contact the University of Bath Equality and Diversity Manager.

Note that there is a general lack of women’s toilets and accessible toilets on campus. As a result, there has been difficulty in securing the adoption of more gender-neutral facilities. The LGBT+ Trans Rep is trying to ensure that all future buildings include gender-neutral toilets.

Relevant contact: Marlene Bertrand, Equality and Diversity Manager

Top

What about showers and changing rooms?

Trans students are permitted to use changing facilities according to their gender presentation. Within the Sports Training Village, there is a dedicated gender-neutral changing room you can ask for. As for private cubicles in the building, these may not always be available, but you are generally able to ask for one except during peak hours (such as Wednesday afternoon). If there are no facilities available at the time, you can approach reception or any duty manager and they will do what they can to accommodate your needs. Ron Stewart, the current Facilities Manager, is well-informed on trans issues, so you may wish to speak to him if you have any questions.

There is no policy which specifically addresses the question of changing rooms and sports facilities. However, the Sports Department is required to adhere to the Equality Act 2010 (which you can read here) and the University’s Statement of Equality Objectives (available here), meaning that the needs of anyone who falls into a protected category are prioritized. Therefore, if you inform them of any particular requirements you have, they are obliged to work with you to reach an appropriate solution.

Relevant contact: Ron Stewart, Facilities Manager

General points about the changing rooms

For logistical reasons, most changing rooms are designated as either male or female depending on the day and time, in order to reflect the schedules of different sports teams. This means that, depending on when you attend, you may have more or less difficulty in finding space in the right changing room.

The changing rooms tend to be more crowded in the evenings, on Wednesday afternoons, and on weekends. You might find it easier or more comfortable to access the sports facilities at other times.

There is now a permanent gender neutral changing room! You may want to ask at reception to find it , but there should be no questions asked about you using it.

Top

Interested in sport?

Whether and how trans athletes should participate in sport is a controversial topic. T-Time is committed to ensuring that all those who wish to participate should be able to do so. However, unfortunately we don’t make the rules (yet). At the University of Bath, sports societies are the responsibility of the SU. There are both mixed- and single-gender teams, which may be either recreational or competitive. Trans students are eligible to participate in any mixed-gender sports activities. They are also eligible to participate in some, but not all, single-gender recreational sports as their self-identified gender. 

So, what is the policy on trans athletes?

Unlike other SU-affiliated activities, sports do not adhere to the SU Equal Opportunities Policy. Instead, they adhere to the recommendations from British Universities and Colleges Sport and Sport England, which are separate, national organizations. BUCS and Sport England employ different policies for transgender participation depending on the particular sport and level of competition.

As a general rule:

  • You should be able to compete in your preferred gender if you have undergone medical transition, which must include hormone treatment,  but does not have to include surgery.
  • There are restrictions on how soon after treatment you can become eligible for a particular team.
  • Otherwise, you will have to compete on the team according to your assigned gender.

However, the situation is somewhat more complicated. Every sport in the UK is overseen by its own National Governing Body, and each of these has its own rules on trans and intersex inclusion. Therefore, students hoping to participate in gender-segregated sport will need to investigate the policy specific to that sport’s particular National Governing Body.

The BUCS Transgender Policy can be viewed here. The Sport England Transgender Policy can be viewed here(See the document titled, “Transsexual People – Eligibility to Compete in Domestic Competition”.)

This issue is beyond the scope of student life at the University of Bath, and one which the LGBT+ Trans Rep and SU Sport are working to resolve. If you have questions or concerns, you should speak to the LGBT+ Trans Rep or to the SU Sport Officer.

What about toilets, showers and changing rooms?

Getting involved in student societies

At the University of Bath, there are lots of student societies, clubs, and events that you can get involved in. All student societies affiliated with the SU are required to adhere to an Equal Opportunities Policy, which you can read here if you’re interested. This policy ensures that students are protected from discrimination based on (among other things) their sex, gender identity and trans status.

You may sometimes see events advertised as being gender-specific. (For instance, in 2013 the SU advertised a self-defence class “for women.”) Nonetheless, because of the Equal Opportunities policy, all students are free to participate in any of these events regardless of their gender identity, gender presentation, medical, legal, or trans status. If you have questions about this, or if any issues arise which cannot be resolved by speaking to the person/society that organized the event, you can speak to the LGBT+ Trans Rep or any SU Officer.

However, note that not all Student Societies are officially affiliated with the SU, including several of the religious societies. This means that they are not required to adhere to the Equal Opportunities Policy, and so may have different attitudes towards trans inclusion. Students need to discuss this with unaffiliated societies on an individual basis. If you would like support in doing so, the LGBT+ Trans Rep will be happy to help.

Accessing NHS services

The NHS can offer gender-related treatment and support, including access to hormones or surgery for those who need it. For NHS resources, check out our Useful Links page.

As a student, your first point of call might be the University Medical Centre (UMC). Here are some answers to common questions about this service.

Questions

1. When registering at the UMC, which “box” should I tick?

2. How do I change my name, gender, or title in the NHS system?

3. I’m worried about approaching the front desk!

4. Are the UMC staff trained in trans issues?

5. Waiting is difficult/stressful/depressing. Who can I talk to?

6. I’ve been denied funding for treatment. What happens now?


Answers

When registering at the UMC, which “box” should I tick?

All forms which are specific to the UMC (rather than standardized NHS forms) provide for options other than “male” and “female”. However, some of the standardized NHS paperwork you are given may ask you to tick either the “Male” or the “Female” box. Depending on the stage of your transition, and provided you are comfortable doing so, you can pick whichever you think is most appropriate. If you want to disclose your trans status on this form, or if you identify as non-binary, you can write a note in the margins, speak to a secretary, or ask to speak to the practice manager about other options.

Top

How do I change my name, gender, or title in the NHS system?

For a name change, the UMC will ask to see your deed poll or other legal documentation. You should be able to change your title and gender without having to submit evidence (since the “evidence” would consist of a doctor’s note, and they’re your doctor). All of this can be done by speaking to the front desk. If you encounter difficulties, ask to speak to the manager.

Top

I’m worried about approaching the front desk/signing in!

If you are worried about approaching the desk in person, you may find it helpful to write down your query on a piece of paper, and hand this to the secretary rather than saying it out loud and being overheard. T-Time members, in general, have reported that the administrative staff have been discreet and helpful in this regard.

When signing in for an appointment, you will be faced with a giant screen then asks you for your gender. If you are uncomfortable using this screen to sign-in for your appointment, you are perfectly entitled to approach the front desk to sign in instead.

Top

Are the UMC staff trained in trans issues?

Each individual member of staff, whether they are a doctor, nurse, or part of the admin team, is likely to have a different level of experience when it comes to trans issues.

As with any medical situation, it is important to let your healthcare provider know about any medications you are taking or any surgical procedures you may have had, if they ask you for this information. Furthermore, some conditions are diagnosed differently depending on whether a patient is male or female, so it is important that you make this clear to the person treating you.

This can sometimes be stressful for patients. Medical treatment comes up frequently during T-Time meetings, so you can find out more about people’s experiences with particular doctors by getting in touch with the LGBT+ Trans Rep or coming along to a meeting.

Relevant contact: LGBT+ Trans Rep

Top

Waiting is difficult/stressful/depressing. Who can I talk to?

We know this can be tough. If you are frustrated or having a difficult time, then you can speak to your GP, meet with a University counselor, contact the LGBT+ Trans Rep or come along to a T-Time meeting for support. For more information, click here. If you feel that these issues are affecting your university studies, read this page about mitigating circumstances.

Top

I’ve been denied funding for trans-related treatment. What can I do?

First of all, you should be aware that all NHS trans-related services are underfunded and understaffed. Unfortunately, this is true throughout the UK. The staff at the UMC will do what they can to help you through the system, but there may be delays or interruptions beyond their control. If you are trying to appeal an NHS funding decision, you should speak to your GP, who will explain the procedure and help you through it.

Doctors are busy, and you might find it necessary to follow up with them for more information. If you were told that you would be contacted in the future, and more than a week has passed since you expected to hear from someone, it’s important that you phone or leave messages. Otherwise, there’s a chance that your treatment will get delayed.

Relevant contact: Your own healthcare provider.

 

Top