Saints LGBT+ has launched a new initiative to encourage event attendees to clarify their preferred pronouns when introducing themselves.
As part of efforts to promote the initiative, all committee members now wear badges to events that not only state their name and position but also their preferred pronouns.
Saints LGBT+ president Lewis Wood said, “By introducing ourselves with our pronouns, we allow pronouns to be clarified without any discomfort or pressure on the individual.”
Mr Wood emphasised the need to recognise gender diversity and create a safe space for people of all sexualities and genders, a founding principle of Saints LGBT+.
“Transgender people are still treated with an unjust and vile level of transphobia.
“There’s an urgent need for further education, and hopefully we can work with the local community, the Student’s Association, and the University to quell any latent transphobia that has preserved in the town,” he said.
Mr Wood also said that generally, St Andrews and its students have a “modern and progressive attitude”, but that the University is far from being wholly trans-inclusive. Many university buildings, including the Union, do not have gender-neutral bathrooms.
Though a simple change, Mr Wood said it would make a huge difference to the lives of many transgender students. He added, “It’s a small change that makes a big difference, and we can’t wait to see it occur.”
Recent Saints LGBT+ efforts to create an open environment for gender non-binary students include distributing informative leaflets and highlighting trans-focused events.
Mr Wood also emphasised “inclusivity” as one of the main themes of Saints LGBT+ events, “Our events really are a protected and inclusive space where everybody is welcome, and nobody is judged.”
Past trans events at St Andrews included a talk by speaker Grace Oni Smith in February 2016 to tell her story as a transgender makeup artist.
This year, Saints LGBT+ will be hosting Trans Fest, a weekend of events embracing gender identity.
Trans Fest will happen in November to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual day to recognise those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia.