Transgender Equality Policy Statement:

Dress Codes and Use of Facilities:

Aberystwyth University does not insist on any particular dress for its employees or students, except where there are health and safety or security concerns, or where a job or placement requires a uniform or protective clothing to be worn. 

The line manager must discuss with the member of staff when they wish to start dressing and presenting themselves in their affirmed gender and whether this will be a phased process. The manager or HR Business Partner should make the person aware of the University dress code (as outlined above) and if the individual feels that this will hinder their presentation during or after transition in some way then the individual's line manager will, with the aim of finding a satisfactory compromise, sympathetically consider the issue consistent with the objectives of this policy.

Use of Facilities:

As soon as a staff member is living in a gender role permanently even if they have not undergone or do not intend to undergo medical or surgical procedures, they are entitled to have access to the facilities of their affirmed gender. This includes toilets and changing rooms.

Under no circumstances should the staff member be asked or instructed to use accessible toilets or the toilet of the sex they were assigned at birth. Unless, they would like to or must use this toilet for accessibility reasons.

At Aberystwyth University we also have some gender neutral toilets at various locations around the college. These may be used by anybody, and transgender people may choose to use them, but they must not be re-directed to them.


(Thanks to Gendered Intelligence / Goverment Equalities Office)

Terms and language regarding transgender people and transgender issues are evolving rapidly and many terms may mean different things to different people. The definitions given here are the common, but not universal, understandings of these terms. 

Acquired Gender

The law uses the phrase 'acquired gender' to refer to the gender in which a transgender person lives and presents to the world. This is not the gender that they were assigned at birth, but it is the gender in which they should be treated.


Someone who wears the clothes usually expected to be worn by someone of the ‘opposite’ gender. Other terms include ‘transvestite’ (now becoming a dated term and disliked by some) and ‘dual role’. A cross-dresser is unlikely to have a full-time identity as a member of their cross-dressed gender and typically does not seek medical intervention.

Gender Binary

A binary system allows only two things or states – for example, on/off. In terms of gender, it refers to the ‘either/or’ categories of male/female that do not allow for, or recognise, other experiences of gender.

Gender Dysphoria

Transgender people who seek medical intervention are typically diagnosed with ‘gender dysphoria’ as a first step. Gender dysphoria describes the sense of a strong, persistent discomfort or distress caused by the dissonance between a person’s self-identified gender and the gender they were assigned at birth.

Gender Identity

A person’s sense of self as a man, woman, non-binary person or other sense of gender.  A person’s gender identity is typically expected to follow directly from the sex they were assigned at birth (based on physical attributes), but this is not always the case.

Gender Reassignment

The process of changing or transitioning from one gender to another.

Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC)

A certificate issued under the GRA which enables someone to be legally recognised in their acquired gender.


You mis-gender someone when you refer to them using a word, especially a pronoun or a form of address, which does not correctly reflect the gender with which they identify. 

Non-Binary Person

Someone who does not subscribe to the customary binary approach to gender, and who may regard themselves as neither male nor female, or both male and female, or take another approach to gender entirely. 

A Transgender (or trans) person

A broad, inclusive term referring to anyone whose personal experience of gender extends beyond the typical experiences of those of their assigned sex. Amongst others, transsexual people, non-binary people and cross-dressers may all consider themselves transgender people.

Transsexual Person

This term is most closely associated with the legally protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’. A transsexual person may be a person assigned female at birth who has transitioned or is transitioning to live as a man, or a person assigned male at birth who has transitioned or is transitioning to live as a woman. The law does not require a person to undergo a medical procedure to be recognised as a transsexual person. Once a transsexual person has acquired a GRC, they should generally be treated entirely as in their acquired gender. 

Transgender Man

A transgender man is a female-to-male transgender person who was assigned female at birth but has a male gender identity.

Transgender Woman

A transgender woman is a male-to-female transgender person who was assigned male at birth but has a female gender identity. 


The journey a transgender person takes from their assigned gender to the one they know themselves to be. This may refer to social transition (changing name, clothes etc), medical transition (hormones and/or surgery) or both.

How to be Gender Neutral/Inclusive:

Best practice is to ask what pronouns people want to use and what they use themselves. 

Many meetings have this as part of an introduction round, e.g 'Hi I’m Debra Croft, Director of Equality for Aberystwyth University. I use Dr or Ms and they or she as a pronoun.'




Also in use (written / international – e.g. journals)


She / He laughed at the idea of non-binary gender

They laughed at the idea of non-binary gender





They tried to convince her / him that asexuality doesn’t exist

They tried to convince them that asexuality doesn’t exist





His / Her favourite colour is unknown

Their favourite colour is unknown





The mug is his / hers

The mug is theirs





The manager thinks highly of herself / himself

The manager thinks highly of  themself





Miss, Mrs, Ms,