Gender reassignment

The Act defines gender reassignment as a protected characteristic. People who are proposing to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone a process (or part of a process) to reassign their sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex have the protected characteristic of gender reassignment.

Legal Information: Under the Equality Act 2010, gender reassignment is a personal process, (that is, moving away from one’s birth sex to the preferred gender), rather than a medical process.

The re-assignment of a person's sex may be proposed but never gone through; the person may be in the process of reassigning their sex; or the process may have happened previously. It may include undergoing the medical gender reassignment treatments, but it does not require someone to undergo medical treatment in order to be protected.

University Activity: Keele University is committed to providing a positive experience which enables equality and diversity amongst our staff, students and stakeholders.  Understanding your views on issues around equality and diversity related practice will help us achieve this and shape our practice and priorities effectively.

If you have any comments, feedback or would like help accessing further equality and diversity guidance, including that from Stonewall, please contact Hannah Barjat on (01782 7)33339 or

If you require training on LGBTQI+ equality in your work areas, please contact Organisational Development.

Keele guidance on gender identity and gender reassignment includes:

  • Gender Identity and Transition Statement of Commitment and Respect 
    • A short document designed for all staff.
  • Gender Transition and Gender Identity Code of Practice 
    • A more detailed document setting out the expectations of senior leaders, managers and colleagues as well as providing practical advice for trans staff and staff who have made a decision to undergo gender transition. The action plan template designed for people undergoing transition to discuss with their managers is now found within the Annexes to the code of practice. 
  • Gender Identity and Transition for HR Administrators
    • A practical document explaining processes required on initial right to work checks and registration of new staff and on changes required for purposes of our staff database and payroll for staff undergoing gender transition.
  • Student Gender Transition Policy
    • A detailed document setting out the expectations relating to student gender transition as well as providing practical advice for staff who are supporting trans students / students who have made a decision to undergo gender transition. 
  • Human Resource Policies and Procedures are inclusive of LGBTQI+ people. Where partners are referenced in our policies, these are regardless of gender and are inclusive of same-sex partners. If you have any questions about HR policies please contact your link HR Advisor.

If you have any comments, feedback or would like further advice on this documentation please contact Hannah Barjat on (01782 7)33339 or

The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI+) network seeks to provide a safe, confidential, and supportive environment for all staff who identify as LGBTQI+ and others who identify under the LGBTI umbrella.

For more information see: LGBTQI+ staff network - Keele University

LGBTQI+ role models: At present we have no trans or intersex people who have joined our Keele LGBTQI+ role model scheme. Stonewall has a number of resources for role models and many examples of trans role models. See for example Stonewall's Trans role model posters. You can also meet our LGB people who have joined our LGBTI role models so far

If you would like to become a trans role model please email

A role model is aware of their potential to influence others and intentionally exercises that influence for the purpose of helping to create a more inclusive environment. In order to do so, the role model needs to be true to themselves, visible in their community and ready to act against discrimination.

Staff, students, alumni and others associated with Keele are invited to become a visible role model.

  • We are particularly keen to include role models from all LGBTQI+ groups and those with multiple protected characteristics.
  • The final aim of the project is to produce a website to showcase our role models, highlighting LGBTI and multiple identities.
  • Each profile will contain a photo and wording as provided by each individual.
  • Profiles will be communicated widely throughout Keele

LGBTQI+ Role Model Questions

Please provide your answers to up to 3 questions, max. 500 words in total. 
Please provide a preferred a photograph, otherwise we will use the photo as per the Keele staff profile

  1. Why do you think it’s important to have out and visible LGBTQI+ people in the University?
  2. What is it like ‘coming out’ as an LGBTQI+ person?
  3. What advice would you give to other LGBTQI+ staff or students who may be facing difficulties as a result of their sexuality?
  4. What is your experience of being LGBTQI+ with other protected characteristics (where relevant)?
  5. What can we all do to make Keele a better place for LGBTQI+  staff and students?
  6. Why are allies important in the workplace?/ What’s the role of active LGBTQI+ allies in the workplace?
  7. How important is the Keele staff LGBTQI+ Network?

'Straight ally’ is a term used to describe heterosexual people who believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/ questioning and intersex (LGBTQI+) people should experience full equality in the workplace. Good straight allies recognise that LGBTQI+  people can perform better if they can be themselves and straight allies use their role within an organisation to create a culture where this can happen.

LGBTQI+ staff can also learn to become allies to other LGBTQI+ staff. For example, a Gay man be an ally to a Bi woman and a Bi woman to a trans man etc. 

Supported by members of the Keele Staff LGBTQI+ Network and Keele’s #NeverOK campaign, we offer training sessions to enable attendees to become confident and effective LGBTQI+ Allies. This training is open to all Keele Staff.

We have a growing network of LGBTQI+ Allies who have now received training. If you are interested in attending a training session and becoming a Keele LGBTQI+ Ally, please contact Hannah Barjat in the Equalities Team.

Travel: LGBTQ+ staff are advised to consider specific risks when travelling:

  • UK government advice for LGBT travellers gives general travel advice including links to a number of international LGB, LGBT and LGBTI organisations. 
  • UK government advice by country gives country specific advice for all travellers. At the time of writing, information for LGBT travellers normally appears under the sub-heading "Local laws and Customs". Advice on behaviour considered appropriate for heterosexual and cis-gendered people is also high-lighted e.g. public displays of affection (such as hand-holding or kissing) or dress etc. 

Stonewall, an LGBT rights charity, have a series of Global Workplace Briefings, which cover a number of individual countries and may give some additional context to government advice.

When taking any advice on travel please make sure that you have up-to-date information.

LGBT overseas staff: may, in some cases, face discrimination in their home country and may want to take up-to-date legal advice on asylum.

Trans staff and students should use those toilet and changing facilities which they think are most appropriate.

Gender neutral facilities are available in:

  • The Dorothy Hodgkin building (toilet and shower / changing room)
  • The Media building (toilet)
  • The Chancellor's building (toilet)
  • The Student's Union building (toilet)
  • Staff toilets in the Tawney building

Local and national groups  for the trans community include:

  • Gender Identity Research and Education Society
  • Trans Staffordshire is a grassroots organization to bring the trans community of Staffordshire and Stoke together providing several safe and confidential spaces which will provide opportunities for trans people to meet socially,provide support and offer peer advice for trans people navigating the legal and medical obstacle course surrounding transition.

and specifically for students:

and more widely for LGBT+ people:

Resources for guidance on trans equality:

  • Advance-HE (Equality Challenge Unit) Advance-HE (formerly ECU) guidance - trans staff and students
  • Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Stonewall Diversity Champions Resources Stonewall is an LGBT rights charity in the UK, of which keele is a Champion. Stonewall works to achieve equality and justice for LGBT people and they produce a number of workplace guides, which will assist managers and staff to create an inclusive workplace. Stonewall have numerous helpful guides on their inclusive workplaces webpages. Specific links for trans inclusion and understanding trans equality e.g.:

Stonewall Logo

AdvanceHE Member logo graphic