Oxfam, Samaritans and 100 other charities sign pledge to support trans and non-binary people

More than 100 charity leaders have signed a pledge to support the trans community and ensure that the charity sector is a safe and welcoming place for trans and non-binary people. 

Leading charities including Oxfam, Samaritans, Mermaids and LGBT Foundation have signed the Stand With Trans pledge, with the signatories leaving a message of support and affirmation. 

The Stand With Trans campaign was created and is run by Charity So Straight, an organisation which seeks to make UK charity workplaces more LGBTQIA+ friendly and inclusive. 

Charity So Straight created the pledge as a means for charity leaders to “reiterate our absolute commitment to supporting the rights of our trans, non-binary, and gender diverse communities”, following a substantial increase in hate towards trans people. 

During Pride Month in June, a number of charities and brands faced social media pile-ons and criticism in the mainstream media for supporting trans and non-binary people. 

Oxfam was forced to delete a video it shared on its platforms after it faced negativity due to its inclusion of a ‘TERF’ cartoon character. 

You may like to watch

“We must stand united together against this hate and offer support whenever any of us are subjected to an attack by the transphobic movement,” Charity So Straight said in a statement. 

The organisation continued: “We know that we’re not all in the same place with regards to trans equity, indeed, many of us are very early in our journey when it comes to discussing trans and non-binary inclusion, but wherever you might be on your organisations journey, we encourage you to stand alongside us, learn alongside us, and commit to ensuring that we are offering spaces where trans and non-binary people are simply able to be themselves, free from discrimination, prejudice and hate.”

Signatory Alison Court, Oxfam’s chief transformation officer, wrote that “trans and non-binary colleagues need our support and solidarity whilst they are being relentlessly attacked”. 

CEO Samaritans, Julie Bentley, said she wants the mental health charity to be a “safe place for all people to work, volunteer and seek help, including trans people”. 

“We still have work to do but as part of our ongoing commitment to inclusion we are working with our diversity network group for LGBTQIA+ volunteers to ensure we achieve this,” Bentley added. 

Mermaids’ interim CEO Lauren Stoner said she signed the pledge because the charity sector must remain free from hatred. 

She said: “We need [our] trans, non-binary and gender-diverse communities to know that they can be themselves whenever they engage with a charity, and will be able to thrive as employees, volunteers and supporters,” 

“Professionally, I see the impact of systemic, institutional, transphobia every single day, and I want to be part of building a sector where the trans young people we exist to work with are valued, nurtured and empowered now, and for the future.”

Smyth Harper, chair LGBT Foundation, said: “Trans people are part of our family and we will always have their backs. 

“The vilification, hatred and abuse that our trans brothers, sisters and siblings face must be drowned out by our gay love, support, hope and joy.”

Please login or register to comment on this story.