Staffers at the U.K. Department for Business and Trade (DBT) were informed of this guidance through a Nov. 20 blog post on the DBT's intranet. The post was penned by Amanda Brooks, DBT director-general of trade negotiations, to commemorate the "Transgender Day of Remembrance." She stressed the importance of reflecting on the lives lost due to intolerance and anti-transgender violence.
The blog also featured a statement from a non-binary civil servant who promotes an open and inclusive workplace for trans colleagues. The staff suggested checking the preferred pronouns of their colleagues on their email signatures to avoid making assumptions and joining the LGBTQ+ Network at DBT to show support and stay informed about the current issues in their community. (Related: Biden admin giving Indian non-profit almost $50K to push gender identity policies.)
"Although we cannot change the past, we do have the power to take control of the future and specifically the future for [the] trans and non-binary community. At work, there [are] many small actions that I’d like to see colleagues take to work toward removing stigma and [building] a culture where we are open and inclusive of our trans colleagues," the staffer said.
A campaigner for the group Sex Matters denounced the DBT's instruction and dubbed it as "downright nasty."
Helen Joyce, advocacy director for the group, remarked: "Telling civil servants to check each other's [email signatures] for pronouns is downright nasty. It's very worrying that a senior official endorsed a memo suggesting such uncollegial and bigoted behavior."
"The day is supposed to feature the deaths of trans-identified people caused by ‘transphobia’, and is used to circulate baseless claims that trans people face outsize risk of violence. These are in turn used to suggest that doctors must give cross-sex hormones and genital surgery to trans-identified people on demand, and everyone else must pretend that trans people are the sex they claim to be, not the sex they actually are."
Joyce further warned that "if these demands are rejected, trans lobby groups engage in emotional blackmail, claiming that the result will be trans people dying by violence or suicide."
She ultimately called for all employers such as the DBT to be mindful about facing complaints for discriminating against or harassing employees who have different views on gender issues.
"All employers, including DBT, should think carefully about the risk of claims against them for discrimination and harassment of gender-critical employees if they allow themselves to be used as mouthpieces for evidence-free and inflammatory lobbying."
"In any large organization, there will be a range of views and concerns over different issues [that] employees may want to discuss," a DBT spokesman meanwhile told the Telegraph. "These discussions are always held in a manner that is consistent with both Civil Service values and our responsibilities under the Civil Service Code.
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