Profile | Al Smith | Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the trans community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Transgender Day of Visibility means to them.


PC Al Smith – West Midlands Police

I grew up in rural Devon during the introduction of Section 28 and remember the anti-gay tabloid headlines well. While I was academically gifted and succeeded at school sports, as well as judo at a national level, I was bullied throughout my time at school. I realised I was gay when I was 11, but didn’t feel able to ‘come out’ until I’d escaped to university. I needn’t have worried as my family have always been supportive of me.

I followed in my father’s footsteps and joined the police in 1998 – it was a way of helping others and enjoying a varied career. I ended up joining West Midlands Police because it was one of the few forces at the time that included sexual orientation in its equal opportunity statement. At the time I identified as a gay woman. There was no way I was going back into the closet, but I wanted to know the force would have my back if I was bullied again for being me.

I’m currently a force Intelligence Officer, a role I’ve thoroughly enjoyed for over 15 years. I describe my job as supporting my colleagues to work smarter to deliver proactive policing. Every day offers a new challenge, needing me to be creative and a problem solver. I’ve worked with teams tackling Organised Crime Groups involved in drug supply and the use of firearms, high risk sex offenders, as well as assisting in those investigating domestic and child murders. I’m currently part of our Serious & Organised Crime tackling violent gangs who exploit others, for example through County Lines drug dealing.

My self-awareness has developed since I joined the police and I now identify as trans, non-binary and describe my sexuality as pansexual. I started my formal transition in 2007, at the age of 35, and I’m currently the trans lead for the National LGBT+ Police Network. I work in partnership with colleagues of all ranks and grades, from new Intelligence Officers joining my team to Chief Constables commanding national DEI portfolios, to ensure the police service is better able to promote itself as an employer of choice for all individuals, not just those who are trans – for all those who want to serve their community and make a difference. It’s been an absolute honour to serve with pride alongside my colleagues who have, by and large, been wholeheartedly supportive of me as we work hard together to prevent crime, protect the public and help those in need.

TDOV is important to me because it’s an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate being trans. Being non-binary meant I’ve had to fight hard for a number of years to access healthcare, but it was well worth the battle as I’m finally comfortable being truly me. I’ve met some amazing people on my journey who are fabulous sources of inspiration too. TDOV honours them and the wider trans community for having the determination to embrace our true potential.

My advice… Don’t let haters drag you down. Focus on what you can control and having a positive perspective. Connect with like -minded people, be that LGBT+ role models or anyone who whose values and conduct you admire. Help support each other in whatever you’re seeking to achieve. We’re all stronger together.

Profile | Skye Morden | Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the trans community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Transgender Day of Visibility means to them.


PC Skye Morden – West Midlands Police

Trans Day of Visibility is vastly important in 2021, possibly more so than it has been for many years. Trans people are subjected to daily abuse, anger and misinformation is everywhere. Police social media accounts receive hate every time they post support for LGBTQ+ or other vulnerable communities. All of these hateful comments, it’s like a death by a thousand cuts.

Trans people exist. Science shows this. We are ALL a complex mix of biological, psychological, and social elements which are interconnected. We are all diverse, with all of us having different chromosomes, different levels of hormones and there are many men who have a more ‘female’ pattern brain and vice versa (British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists and Joel and FaustoSterling, 2016). Some people are trans, some people are cis gendered, some people are non-binary. To me, gender is a spectrum.

It’s important for me to stand tall and show my strength for my community, as so many trans people feel under constant attack from all sides, with many young trans people are terrified in their daily lives just for living as their true authentic selves. Standing up for myself and my community is possibly the most important thing I have ever done, though I feel like a mouse roaring into a storm. As a police officer we have a position in society where many people look up to us. That means I have a privilege and access to a platform others don’t have. I feel it’s really important for me to stand up and show the trans community, there are people like me and others in the police that hear them and will stand up for them, even though I am terrified inside too.

Simply going to the shops to buy bread, as me, feels like an act of protest and it can be truly frightening. Trans people just want to exist and be themselves in all aspects of life, and I want that for me too. To live without fear in a modern society shouldn’t be too much to ask, but it seems that we trans people and other communities have a long way to go.  I know we’ll get there, but that road to full acceptance and inclusion of trans people, it’s long.

Profile | Bee Bailey | Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the trans community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Transgender Day of Visibility means to them.


PC Bee Bailey – Gloucestershire Constabulary

Trans Day of Viability #TDOV has become ever more important to trans community and those who so kindly support.

I like many of my colleagues have indefatigably progressed trans awareness, having banged desks, rattled hinges, sent long and grumpy emails, waved flags and marched with passion, noble intent and best interests of trans communities, experiencing all the threat risk and harm this brought in a bid to cause progressive change knowing there has to always be visible trans folk to lead, to guide, to change for the better.

As years go by we bear the scars of these battles, we might not shout so loudly, we might not bang those desks, and as age and the wisdom inclines, we learn to listen more than we speak, then we watch and fathom where trans visibility is today, but do we feel a sense of where? Where are my trans colleagues and wider community, why are they not always seen or dare not be seen when we know they are there? Confidence, circumstances or opportunity. Visibility is so important, we must be visible because if we see, we know, we learn, we better understand, and then we slowly and surely gain confidence enough to be our very true selves securely knowing we are not alone.

This is what Trans day of visibility is for me, Bee.

Profile | Christian Owens | Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the trans community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Transgender Day of Visibility means to them.


DS Christian Owens – Merseyside Police

I have 26 years policing experience. I have been a Detective since 2006, specialising in PVP and I am currently posted to the Community Engagement Unit, but more importantly, I have become ‘me’. A visible and very proud trans man, who is driving positive change to improve the future for others.

I started my career in October 1994, as a 23 year old female police constable. In 2012, I made the biggest decision of my life and embarked on my journey of transition that would finally enable me to live my life truly as me – Christian Owens – a man.

In 2009, I had started to socially transition in my private life, dressing and identifying as a man behind closed doors and publicly on the few occasions when I felt strong enough.

I was leading a double life. A man at home and a woman at work. I was racing home because I was desperate to be me. Then, on 10th December 2012, having started my medical transition 8 weeks earlier, I walked through the doors of Merseyside Police HQ for the first time as DS Christian Owens. It felt liberating to finally be me, but extremely scary. I was scared of being misgendered, not being acknowledged as a man, of being bullied and isolated and losing my friends and colleagues. I got stared at, looked at strangely in the toilets, male colleagues would often awkwardly leave the toilets when I entered, refusing to use them. I heard ignorant comments, such as “I don’t get it” and “is that a man or a woman” and people did fail to challenge at the times that I really needed them to.

But what really matters is what we, as an organisation, have done since that time and how I have grown as a person. I am proud to say that we have progressed, improved and made important changes. Chief Officers are visible and want to raise the levels of knowledge and understanding, in order to empathise and fully support. But this is just the beginning and there is a long way to go. It is so important that we continue the momentum, encourage learning and awareness and listen to lived experiences like mine.

I now provide educational inputs across law enforcement and external organisations, as a visible officer and transgender speaker, to raise awareness of my personal journey of discovery. I live my life to the full and I’m grateful for every single day and it gives me an enormous amount of pleasure and satisfaction to now be a role model for others.

What does TDOV mean to me? Transgender visibility inspires people and gives them hope and strength to be who they really are! Everyone deserves to embrace the power within their true authentic self, live their legacy and love their life. And it makes me proud to be able to inspire others to do this by being visible and out as a very proud and happy gay trans man!

Profile | Will Ambler | Transgender Day of Visibility

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. A day where we celebrate and acknowledge the lives and contributions of members of the trans community. This year, we are proud to profile some of our members and share what Transgender Day of Visibility means to them.


Will Ambler Communications Officer/Dispatcher – North Yorkshire Police

My name is Will and I have worked for North Yorkshire Police for almost 19 years. I work as a dispatcher in the Force Control Room. Even after 19 years I can honestly say I love my job. There are no two days the same. I love the fast-paced environment and having to multi- task. Sadly, this isn’t a skill I take home with me!

In March 2017 I opened up to close family and friends and “came out” as Transgender, changing my name to William. The name comes as a nod to my father, Thomas William. Life changed for me on Halloween that year when I had top surgery. It was like a weight had lifted and for the first time I felt like the truest version of myself. I now live the loveliest life with my partner and our 3 children, we don’t use the word “step” in our house. We have 2 dogs. A Sprocador called Bramble and a Labrador puppy called Ted. Life is busy, but that is how we like it. We enjoy being outside with the “wildlings” and playing football with my son.

I asked my family what my best quality is. My youngest 2 ignored the question. My eldest and my partner said kindness. I am very happy with that. My advice if you are wanting to join the Police Service is would be- be honest. Be truthful. Work hard with an open mind and an open heart. Don’t judge. Be ready to experience things you could never imagine seeing, and get ready to work with people who will become your family.

Why is TDOV important to me? This is a hard question really, but for me the main reason is awareness, I feel it’s the first step in trying to end discrimination. TDOV is a time to be visible and to celebrate how far we have come but also to acknowledge that we have so much further to go.

Article | Diversity and Inclusion- How not to do it

Lessons from the Case of Taylor v. Jaguar Land Rover (2018)


This case is likely to be remembered as the first time a UK employment tribunal found that the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ includes persons who identify as non-binary and gender fluid (and probably opened the door for other complex gender identities).  The tribunal’s finding on those matters is at paragraphs 165 to 178 of the judgment and it is likely that these (and the relevant sections from Hansard referred to therein) will be the most quoted paragraphs in future.

However, the case also is useful in another way.  In setting out the clearest failures in dealing with Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) that this barrister (and apparently the tribunal) has seen in 25 years of legal practice, the case may serve as notice to poor employers about what can happen when an employment tribunal shines a light into such dark corners, provide comfort for good employers that they are doing the ‘right thing’ and show employees how they are protected by the work of employment tribunals.  In their concluding remarks the tribunal said:

‘We had not seen a wholesale failure in an organisation of this size in our collective experience as an industrial jury.’ [227]


‘We thought it was astounding that there was nothing in the way of proper support, training and enforcement on diversity and equality until the Claimant raised the issue in 2017 bearing in mind how long the legislation has been in force.’[227]

[Numbers in square brackets are paragraph numbers from the tribunal’s reasons.]

The is an important caveat to introduce before setting out the failures.  The events examined by the tribunal and referred to in this article took place in 2017 and 2018.  At the tribunal, at least by the time of the remedy hearing in October 2020, Jaguar Land Rover (‘JLR’) accepted the depth of their difficulties and willingly took upon themselves recommendations designed to transform the D&I position at JLR.  I am informed that such steps have been underway since 2019 and that much effort is being put into these matters at JLR.  I look forward to writing a different article in a few years’ time setting out the transformation of D&I achieved at JLR and the benefits for the workforce, company and the whole West Midlands community.

So turning to the failures:

Show commitment to D&I

‘the Respondent’s complete lack of commitment to diversity and inclusion’.[79]

‘…the Respondent values its employees’ ability to perform their key roles far more than their personal welfare and wellbeing.’[227]

If you have D&I Structures, ensure they are active and effective

The Diversity Council or Committee ‘is no longer in existence or is entirely moribund’ [7].  The Claimant had been informed that the Cttee ‘didn’t really do anything but could not be god rid of for political reasons’[7].

‘…there was no visible group representing the interests of LGBT+ people..’[15]

‘…sadly apparent… there were no ERG/networks at all.’ [17]

‘…no support mechanisms for staff with protected characteristics…’[17]

If you have policies, make sure relevant staff know about them

‘All of the Respondent’s witness thought there must be (an Equal Opportunities Policy), but none of them had actually seen it’ [8].

‘…although the Respondent has a very good policy, none of those supposed to be implementing it, knew of it.’[162]

If you have policies, train relevant staff on them.

‘All of (the Respondent’s witnesses) appeared to be confused between the Dignity at Work policy … and equality and diversity issues’[9].

‘The sad truth, as this case clearly demonstrates, is that no steps were taken to implement (the equality policy) or bring it to the attention of employees or managers’[9].

‘There was no evidence whatsoever that the managers who gave evidence, or indeed anyone else working for the Respondent had been trained on the Dignity at Work policy’[14].

‘Given that the Respondent had some policies but did little or nothing to publicise or implement them’.[215]

If you have policies, use them

‘he did not look at the procedure’[14].

If you are a large organisation, have relevant experts / points of contact / support for managers

‘… no person designated to deal with diversity and equality issues.’[17]

‘Claimant was dealing with at least four people..’[41]

‘..the Respondent did not engage a specialist…’ [57]

‘Clearly this was not appropriate advice..’[23]

‘The Respondent did not give them the tools or support to deal with a situation such as this…’[226]

‘The advice from HR was woeful’. [226]

Common humanity is a good starting point for managers as a guide to good behaviour…

‘Claimant was told ‘not to be sensitive’ (about comments which amounted to unlawful harassment) [40].

‘What else would you want them to call you’ (in response to C reporting a discriminatory remark) [43].

‘(her line manager) described her as ‘not normal’…’[22]

‘(her line manager’s) response was to laugh at her…’[137]

Be proactive

‘…and nothing was done to nip it in the bud.’ [55]

‘There was nothing (in a grievance response) about the fact that the Claimant was still being subjected to abusive treatment’ [73].

‘..hardly constituted a strong message about the importance of dignity and respect in the workplace’[78]

‘..the Claimant had raised the issue on numerous occasions and nothing had been done’.[120]

‘…wholly unclear that any further investigation was carried out…’[130]

‘The Respondent’s complete failure to protect the claimant from unacceptable harassment.’[132]

‘the Respondent’s total and abject failure to protect her from harassment.’[222]

Do not treat discipline (relying on the identification of perpetrators by victims) as the only possible response to instances of discrimination.

‘There were other ways of sending a clear message that such behaviour is unacceptable and would not be tolerated’[11] .

Deal with causes not symptoms

‘Occupational Health could not deal with the cause, i.e., a sustained course of wholly unacceptable harassment in the workplace’[12].

And a selection of comments you would NOT want to hear being made by the tribunal about your case / your actions / your evidence:

‘Sad truth’… ‘A considerable surprise’…’offensive and unsupportive’…’unproductive and unhelpful’… ‘set off alarm bells’…’no meaningful action’… ‘ a very unhelpful approach’… ‘the Claimant was not supported as an individual’… ‘bland and aspirational’…’ no real value was attached to her as a human being’…’stark contrast’… ‘fanciful’…’a particularly distasteful line of questioning’…’uncomfortable and unpleasant to listen to’… ‘truly unacceptable thing to say’… ‘Hindsight did feature prominently in the Respondent’s evidence in this case.’ ‘…it highlights real and avoidable shortcomings’…’wanton disregard’…’We did consider it to be suspicious’…’surprising, to say the least…’found it hard to believe’…’the argument was totally without merit’…’unattractive, to say the least’…’In this day and age such treatment was frankly unconscionable.’…’we thought it was astounding’…’a lesson to be learned at the highest level’…’systematic failure’…’the Respondent values its employees’ ability to perform their key roles far more than their personal wellbeing.’



Article written by Robin Moira White

Old Square Chambers



The full judgement of this case can be found in the Resources section here.


Transgender Day of Remembrance | Friday 20th November 2020

The 20th of November is Trans Day of Remembrance or TDOR for short. TDOR is an internationally recognised day of solemn reflection and a time to memorialise those Trans and non-binary people who have been murdered or victimised by transphobic hate.


Constable Al Smith of West Midlands Police is the Trans and non-binary lead for the National LGBT+ Police Network; this is their thoughts on TDOR:

It is important to honour and remember the victims of hate crime, Trans day of remembrance (TDOR) gives us the opportunity to highlight to the wider community the devastating effect transphobic hate crime can have on my community. While this is an important day, it holds great sadness for me.

TDOR reminds me of my vulnerability to hatred. It reminds me I live in a hate-filled world where others like me are killed just for being themselves.

It reminds me of others who have taken their own lives because of the daily oppression they face. That’s something I’ve contemplated in the past when I experienced bullying at work to the extent I suffered severe clinical depression. Far too many Trans and non-binary people have experience of this and is one of the main reasons I want to see our society be more inclusive of trans and non-binary people. So no one has to feel that their innate characteristics make them a target for hateful behaviours.

I don’t want there to be a need for TDoR, but it exists for very real reasons.

In the UK, transphobic hate crimes have quadrupled over the past five years. Trans people are twice as likely to be the victim of crime. Alongside this increase in crime is the toxic environment that exists on many social media platforms which can be incredibly transphobic. Behind every headline is a real person with parents, family and friends who are affected by these crimes and hostile words. Knowing this, how would you feel if your child, or a member of your family or a good friend said they were trans? How would you feel about them seeing transphobic comments? Wouldn’t you want them to be able to be themselves in public and be safe?

Allies are key in helping to make our workplaces and society safer and more inclusive of Trans and non-binary people. If you are an ally, ask yourself, what am I doing to help support Trans people? If you aren’t sure where to start, here are some simple ideas: add your pronouns to your email footer / social media profile, follow some prominent trans people on social media and share their stories, make a donation to a trans charity, have your say in the current Gender Recognition Act inquiry and hate crime consultation, stand up to transphobia you see online.

These are small things that take only a little effort but can make a massive difference to the Trans and non-binary people around you, both to those who are visible and those you may not know to be Trans or non-binary. It’s easy to make a difference and be the positive change you want to see in the world.


For more information on Trans guidance for policing. Please see the resources section of our website.

Transgender Awareness Week | 12th – 18th November 2020

Trans Awareness Week is the time leading up to Trans Day of Remembrance. Trans awareness week aims to raise the profile of issues affecting the trans community as well as the stories of trans people and their allies. Trans Day of remembrance is a day dedicated to remembering victims of transphobic hate crime.

Ricki Kettle of Northern Ireland Civil Service was Stonewall’s Trans Role Model of the Year in 2019 had this to say about Trans awareness week:

“Trans Awareness Week is especially important for me as not only does it focus on promoting the visibility of trans people, it also highlights the importance of trans allies and how they can help make a difference to trans peoples lived experience.  Despite some progress in recent years, stigma against transgender people remains a reality.  In my experience, trans people want to live their authentic life and with the support of allies in this journey, it is made much more rewarding and empowering.  My own journey was impacted positively by friends, family and work colleagues and the many allies in our community.

“There are many resources that allies can access online on how to be a good ally, even watching a programme on Netflix such as ‘Disclosure’ will go towards educating people on just some of the issues that trans people face.  Many trans people’s lives are like many others, we go to work, clean our house, make dinner, take the dog for a walk, have a glass of wine or watch a movie.  We just want to do these things as our authentic selves, it’s no biggie! – Happy Trans Awareness Week!”

Paul Bloomer, Co-Chair of the PSNI LGBT+ Network followed on with:

“I would like to take this chance to tell the Trans and non-binary people of our organisation that the LGBT+ Network is working with senior leaders to make this organisation a better place for Trans and non-binary people to work in. We need your help though, we need the voices and lived experience of Trans people to help us drive the positive change we need in this organisation. We have a reserved seat on our committee for a member of the Trans community and we would be delighted to welcome into that seat.”

Campaign | Together by Consortium

We believe that everyone should be able to live safely.

Many trans people, including non-binary and gender diverse people experience bullying, abuse and harassment. Being forced to live in fear can have a detrimental effect on your wellbeing, mental and physical health.

We recognise the experiences of trans people will differ based on how they navigate the world. From race to disability, immigration status to socioeconomic background, age to gender, orientation to faith, trans people will have different experiences, sometimes better, and sometimes worse.

We believe that all people deserve dignity.

Prejudice and discrimination prevent many trans people, including non-binary and gender diverse people from living with dignity in all parts of their life – at home, at work or in the community.

Everyone deserves to be safe and to be treated with respect.

Sadly, for trans people, including non-binary and gender diverse people, the opposite is too often true. In the face of a concerted campaign across the British media, together with the measures necessary to restrict the spread of coronavirus, many trans people now feel isolated and unsupported.

Trans people simply want to be able to exist freely and without fear, which is something that many people take for granted.- the security of living in a safe home, access to healthcare (and not just trans healthcare), the knowledge that they will be listened to and heard on what trans people need to live their lives without fear. None of that should be controversial.


The together. campaign says to trans people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, including non-binary and gender diverse people, you do deserve to be safe, and you do deserve respect – you should be able to do what most of us do without thinking.

together, we continue to build our network of organisations who will speak up and campaign for trans rights.

together, we can ensure that everyone is able to live in safety and with dignity.

Campaign Organisers

The together. campaign has been drawn together by five LGBT+ organisations across the UK. Click here to find out more.

Supporter Organisations

Click here for a list of the organisations which are supporting the together. campaign.

To add your organisation, please email stating that you support the campaign and giving permission to use your organisation’s logo, as well as including a hi-res copy of the logo to use.

Get involved

There are a number of resources that you can share on social media. Click here to find out more.

Campaign | Trans Rights are Human Rights by Stonewall

Today, Stonewall, Britain’s leading lesbian, gay bi and trans equality charity, announced that 136 major UK companies have come together in a show of support for trans communities.

Aviva, BP, CITI, Disney, Expedia, Microsoft and Sky join 96 other UK employers who have added their names to a public statement to say trans rights are human rights, and highlight their support for trans colleagues, employees and customers. Each of the participating companies will also be posting messages of solidarity with trans people across their social media platforms throughout the day.

The collective of businesses from a wide range of sectors represent a growing group of leading employers who are speaking up for trans equality in the UK.

Many of these organisations (70) have also written to the Prime Minister directly to call on the UK Government to honour its commitment to protect trans people’s rights and reform the Gender Recognition Act.

Nancy Kelley, Chief Executive, Stonewall said: ‘We’re proud of all the business leaders who today are ‘coming out’ for trans equality. All these companies are sending a powerful message to trans communities that leading businesses have their backs. Across the UK, corporate leaders are speaking up because they care about protecting and supporting their trans colleagues, customers, friends and family.

‘At a time when trans rights feel increasingly under threat, the diversity of all these businesses taking part today shows there is a wealth of support for trans people at the most senior levels of British industrial and cultural life. But we can’t be complacent. If we want to live in a world where every trans person can be themselves, each of us must use our voice to challenge transphobia and take action to create more inclusive communities.’

View the full list of companies that have signed and add your support.

If you or your organisation would like to support this cause, a ‘Support Pack’ can be obtained from Stonewall via the above link.