Brighton council to encourage staff to wear pronoun badges as part of trans awareness campaign

Staff at Brighton & Hove City Council will be ‘encouraged’ to wear badges stating their preferred pronouns.

The LGBT-friendly city’s council unveiled the initiative this week as part of a trans-inclusivity drive.

Badges will include messages such as ‘My pronouns are she/her/hers’ and ‘My pronouns are they/their/theirs’.

The council says that “wearing the badges will be voluntary” but that all staff will be “encouraged” to take part.

Badges will be available in main council offices for people to take part during the week starting 26 March to coincide with Trans Day of Visibility on 31 March.

A release said that the campaign is needed because “making assumptions can be hurtful and distressing, so it helps to know what pronouns people use”.

It added: “The city-wide campaign is aiming to raise awareness of Trans and Non-Binary people and that everyone has their own gender identity.

“The campaign has been put together by the council with support and involvement from local LGBT+ community groups, including the Clare Project and Trans Alliance, the council’s LGBT Workers Forum, local NHS trusts, the University of Brighton and Sussex Police.”

Cllr Emma Daniel, Chair of the Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equality Committee said: “We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities, and rights.

“Now there is more freedom and safety to be ourselves. But there’s still more to do.

“Who a person is may not match what you expect and may not be defined easily. If someone’s pronouns differ from what you assume, it’s for you to adapt and it’s okay to ask.

“We’re proud of being a diverse city, and the council is committed to equality and inclusion for all people including our Trans and Non-Binary residents.

“Read the badge, respect people, it’s that easy.”

The project is bound to get criticism from the right-wing press, however.