Browser does not support script.

Equality and diversity

Trans inclusive guide

The guide provides information about support for trans staff and students.

We use the term ‘trans’ as an umbrella term for people whose gender identity does not match the sex assigned at birth. It includes men and women and people who have non-binary or gender-diverse identities (including non-gender).

If you are concerned about contacting a generic email address for any of the services, you can speak to one of our trans contacts. We also have a dedicated contact for trans students.

This guide provides information about our trans inclusivity policy and support. It is aimed at all students and staff, and will also be useful for applicants for study or work and alumni who identify as trans or who have a trans history. We have arranged information by topic alphabetically, and we hope that this makes it easy to find.

Popular topics include information on changing your name and the difference between your known name and official name.

We warmly welcome feedback to help us realise our ambition to become a trans-inclusive university. If you have comments or suggestions, please email our Equality and Diversity Advisor on

A to F

York St John welcomes applications to study by people with diverse identities and from all backgrounds. We recognise that trans applicants may face practical issues and may have concerns about disclosing their trans status that would help us address these issues. Trans applicants are encouraged to contact the University to seek support and advice, either the admissions team or a dedicated contact. The information will be disclosed to specific individual staff on a strictly need-to-know basis, after consultation with the applicant. Applicants have the option to request a meeting with the dedicated person for trans students at an interview day.

Resources and contacts

York St John welcomes applications to work by people with diverse identities and from all backgrounds. We recognise that trans applicants may face practical issues and may have concerns about disclosing their trans status that would help us address these issues. Trans applicants are encouraged to contact the University to seek support and advice, either with the HR team or a dedicated HR contact. The information will be disclosed to specific individual staff on a strictly need-to-know basis, after consultation with the applicant.

Resources and contacts

York St John regards transphobic abuse, bullying and harassment as hate crime. It will be dealt with under the relevant disciplinary procedures, and we offer support and advice to individuals and groups. If you have experienced or witnessed a transphobic incident, please report it. Please follow the links for more information about our policies, support and reporting.

Resources and contacts

The Careers, Placements and Student Opportunities team welcomes students, graduates and alumni from all backgrounds and genders.

We recognise that your experience as a trans person, such as issues relating to gender or identity, might affect your career decision-making and we are here to provide personalised guidance to you throughout this process.

Careers guidance appointments offer time and space, dedicated to you, in an open-minded, impartial and non-judgemental environment, with lifelong access available to all.

If you’d like to discuss how we are able to support you, please get in touch with us via email or by visiting us in LaunchPad (Holgate 013).

Resources and contacts

York St John's Chaplaincy welcomes people of all backgrounds, genders and beliefs. We offer confidential, non-judgmental pastoral care and we are here to explore questions of faith, spirituality and identity with all staff and students. Contact the Chaplain for a cuppa and a chat.

The Chaplain, Reverend Jane Speck, is a Church of England priest and therefore able to offer the Affirmation of Baptismal Faith to anyone who is transitioning/has transitioned and wishes to affirm their baptism in their chosen name.

Resources and contacts

York St John respects the confidentiality of all trans staff and students, and will not reveal information about their trans status without the prior written agreement of the individual (usually an email). It is good professional practice to keep a record of conversations which will cover how information is shared with others.

If you are concerned about contacting a generic email address (for example, the Admissions team), you can contact our dedicated person in Student Life, Student Records or HR Department.

All personal information gathered by the University relating to students and staff is treated with the care and confidentiality required by the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018. York St John keeps the information on a system that will only give access to the people who need it for their work.

To find out about our approach to data protection, please visit the Data Protection page. See also ‘Monitoring’ in this guide.

Resources and contacts

Some of our courses and positions require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The Disclosure and Barring Service has a sensitive applications team if you do not want to reveal details of your previous identity.

Resources and contacts

Degree/Award certificates will be issued in the official name on the student record. Alumni who change their official name to reflect their self-identified gender can contact Registry to discuss a request for a new certificate or transcripts. We would not charge for transgender-related changes. They will need to provide legal proof of a name change. However anyone who started their degree before 2006 needs to contact the University of Leeds for the certificate. Please read section 14 of the Protocol: Trans students and Student Records.

Resources and contacts

York St John does not have a gendered dress code. Individuals can choose to dress in a way that confirms with their gender identity.

YSJActive strive to ensure that our facilities and services are welcoming and supportive, and we want everyone to feel safe and comfortable whilst using these.

We understand that physical activity has a wide range of benefits both physiological and psychological, so we’re here to support you with becoming active and achieving your exercise related goals. We have prepared factsheets to support people who may be exercising whilst tucking or binding.

At Lord Mayor's Walk we have a gender-neutral changing village with individual cubicles and showers and a gender-neutral accessible toilet. At York St John University Sports Park we have a gender-neutral accessible changing room and toilet (with shower) for those who would prefer to use gender-neutral facilities.

Resources and contacts

We recognise that some trans students may face financial difficulties due to family breakdowns or additional costs of transitioning.

The Student Funding Advice Team are here to support you with issues around funding, including applying to the York St John Student Support Fund and the YSJ Larder.

If you have become estranged from your parents for issues relating to your gender identity, please contact our dedicated person in Student Life, who can provide advice and information about funding options for estranged students.

Resources and contacts

G to N

York St John recognises the right of individuals to self-identify their gender (male, female, non-binary, self-described).

We aim to only request information about sex and gender identity (and title) if this is required and where possible allow people to self-describe their gender. However, we are limited by our statutory obligations which mean that sometimes we can only ask about sex (the sex registered on your birth certificate, passport or gender recognition certificate) or binary gender (male/female).

If you are receiving medical assistance because of gender reassignment, then you may find that this affects your ability to study or work.

Students who are aware that they will not be able to sit an exam on a certain day due to a medical appointment related to gender reassignment, should contact the assessment team as soon as possible to notify them. Where possible, they will avoid scheduling exam(s) on that day.

The University has procedures that recognise that students and staff may require time off study or work. Students may be able to use the exceptional circumstances procedure if this time off interferes with your ability to complete assessed work, or attend an examination. Suspension of studies may be available but it is important that you understand the financial implications that this might have.

Students are strongly advised to speak to the Associate Head and/or Academic Tutor about the options available. Staff are expected to discuss taking time off with their line manager, or contact HR if they prefer.

Resources and contacts

It is never appropriate to ask a trans person for a GRC and regarded as unlawful because it breaches their right to privacy, however a person may choose to use their GRC as evidence of their identity.

Where requirements apply, the University can ask an employee to see official documentation (for example, a passport, driving licence or a new birth certificate) as evidence of change to ‘legal sex’. Once a person has obtained a GRC their gender history can only be disclosed where there are explicit exceptions in law.

Graduation in the Minster is a wonderful occasion where we celebrate the academic achievements of our students. Your official name will be included in the graduation programme book and on the degree certificate. A request to change your official name needs to be submitted before the final Exam Board (dates vary, please contact Registry). If you would like your ‘known as’ name to be read out when you cross the stage, please inform Registry when they send out their Graduation invitations.

Resources and contacts

We offer access to health and wellbeing services. For medical-related issues, you can contact our health services. Staff can access support with health through our employee assistance programme (Care First). Referral to Occupational Health for staff is usually through the line manager, however you can also contact the HR Consultant directly.

Resources and contacts

We provide student housing. Some accommodation is open for people of all genders; other accommodation is single-gender (male/female). The toilets and showers in all accommodation areas are gender-neutral.

An individual’s gender identity can be taken into consideration when they are allocated accommodation. If a person is transitioning, or intending to transition, mixed-gender accommodation should be offered to them.Trans students should also be given the option of living in a single-sex flat of the gender they identify with, for example, a trans woman in an all women flat.

Our accommodation team will liaise with individuals and take a flexible approach to ensure everyone is comfortable with their allocated accommodation. If you have specific requirements, please contact the Accommodation team.

Resources and contacts

The UK government specifies the type of identification both students and staff are required to present during enrolment or on commencement of post. This is a passport, visa or birth certificate combined with other forms of identification.

If you require privacy for a reason related to transgender identity, you can request a private appointment with Student Records or Human Resources to show the identification. If we require identification for other purposes, you can provide more types of official identification, for example, a driving licence. Requiring a gender recognition certificate (GRC) as proof of new identity is against the law. However an individual may choose to use their GRC as evidence of their identity.

Although intersex is not the same as transgender, this guide may be helpful.

Resources and contacts

The library purchases and promotes resources written by trans authors, and centring the experience of trans people, under its IAMplify project. Recent acquisitions include texts dedicated to education and healthcare. There is a dedicated budget for this and the library staff welcome suggestions from trans staff and students. Promotion includes online lists and displays in the library.

The library takes its details from the central university registry system and your library account will be made/updated under the name you enter in the 'Known as' field.

Resources and contacts

Trans status and gender reassignment are ‘sensitive’ data under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and Data Protection Act 2018, and cannot be recorded or passed on to another person unless specific conditions under the Act are met.

During student enrolment and staff recruitment we collect information from our students and staff about their protected characteristics, including trans status. These data are highly secured and no unauthorised access can be given. See also ‘confidentiality’.

Resources and contacts

The Student ID card is used as a library and IT card, and for identification in formal occasions such as exams. Students who change their 'known as' name or whose gender presentation differs from the photo, can request a reprint from Student Records. For course-specific name badges/ID, please contact the Programme Administration and Support Service or the dedicated student support person. Replacement badges will then be provided at no charge.

Resources and contacts

Did you know that you can change your 'known as' name at any time? If you wish to change your 'official' name then you will need to show proof of name change. Please check the protocol for details.

The University aims to use the known as name in all situations except when there is a requirement to use the official name (for instance, on certificates or for HMRC). Members of staff accessing your student or staff record will be able to see the official as well as the known as name. However access to your record is limited and members of staff are bound by data protection rules.

When you change your name and gender, you may need to notify other organisations, for example, your bank, funder, utility company. This will help ensure that your name and gender match on information provided to and by the University.

Resources and contacts

O to Z

York St John University has an Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy Statement, supplemented by the Trans Equality Policy. Other policies and guidance exist to promote trans equality and inclusion, and to tackle bullying and harassment, such as the Dignity at Work Policy.

Resources and contacts

We do not have a formal process to record pronouns used by individuals. However we can offer assistance so that staff and students use the correct pronoun. Students can contact Anna Deacon for help with this by emailing

Our policies and forms should use the neutral pronoun of ‘they’.

Students and staff can collect a free pronoun badge from the Students' Union.

When an individual leaves the University’s employment, the University will continue to ensure that any employment references are provided in their chosen name. If a reference request refers to the staff member by a name that does not match any name on our staff records, Human Resources will request an NI number to enable the match up. A member of Human Resources will then contact the individual to gain permission on providing the information to the requester.

If a reference request refers to a student by a name that does not match any name on their student record then this will be passed on to the Programme Administration and Support Service Manager to query with the student.

On residential trips, room allocations are normally done by the students themselves.

We will ask you to identify the room-sharing combinations that you are comfortable with.

Travel providers may request the gender breakdown of the group in order to calculate the number of shared rooms. We will only provide this information if necessary.

You can mention additional requirements either when booking, or by discussing it with the trip organiser. Alternatively email Please do this as soon as possible, so that we can have an open conversation with you about the options available.

We recognise that going abroad for study or work may pose challenges and concerns for trans students and staff, and this needs to be considered in risk assessments. As a Stonewall Diversity Champion, we have access to a range of resources that enable us to better support our students and staff going abroad for study or work, and our International Students at York St John. Our Study Abroad and Exchange team will be happy to discuss any potential issues that may arise.

Resources and contacts

The LGBT Staff Network is an award-winning, inclusive network giving voice and visibility to LGBT people and their issues. If you need support with representation, you may seek this from a recognised Trade Union. Please see 'Support Groups for students' for other support.

Resources and contacts

The LGBTQ+ Society is an inclusive, mixed gender Society offering students the opportunity to get together and to raise awareness. If you need support with representation, you may seek this from the Students’ Union.

Resources and contacts

  • LGBTQ+ Society
  • York St John Students’ Union
  • The Beaumont Society: offers help and support for the transgender community.
  • Ditch the Label: has a large online community where young people can talk about their troubles including coming out and finding their identity if they need a place to start.
  • GeneraTe: provides local support and information for trans and non-binary people, their families, friends and professionals.
  • York LGBT Forum: runs supportive groups for trans people both in person and online.
  • MindLine Trans+: offers emotional support to people who are Trans+, A Gender, Gender Fluid and Non-binary and anyone wanting to talk about their gender identity. The helpline is also there to offer support and information to family and friends.
  • Switchboard LGBT+ helpline: provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people - and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity.

Our main systems include the option 'Mx' as a title. If we ask for a title in our forms, then we plan to include the option 'Mx' which is gender neutral.

It is possible to change your title, as well as 'known as' name and gender on your student record. To make the change, email

While many students and staff use the facility that best matches their self-identified gender, we recognise that some trans individuals prefer to use gender-neutral facilities.

There is a mixture of toilet and changing facility provision on the York campus. All single toilet cubicles and accessible toilets are gender-neutral, multi-cubicle toilet cubicle spaces are gender-specific, i.e. female or male. Some accessible toilets are locked by a Radar key. However, there will always be one nearby that does not require a Radar key.

Gender-neutral toilets can be found at the entrance from the access road to the dining hall in Holgate, in the Chapel, in the Students' Union, in Quad North and in the Creative Centre. There is a gender-neutral changing village with individual cubicles and showers by Foss sports hall. There is also a gender-neutral accessible toilet and shower in the York St John University Sports Park.

Four toilets on the London Campus are gender-neutral. The landlord provided toilets are gendered, other than the 2 accessible toilets which are by the lifts.

Sanitary bins are provided in all gender-neutral toilets as well as female toilets. On York Campus and York St John University Sports Park, the bins are also available in at least one cubicle in the male toilets around campus. Signs will indicate where the units are once you are in the toilets. Period product vending machines are in some female washrooms in the main University buildings in York, and in the Students’ Union.

We consider the provision of appropriate facilities in estate development.

Resources and contacts

  • Campus Map (click on a building to find information about gender-neutral toilets)

York St John offers training to raise awareness of trans issues and how to support colleagues and students. All staff are required to complete online training on equality and diversity, and on unconscious bias. Additionally, trans equality is covered by recruitment and selection training and other relevant training. We also offer an e-learning module, trans awareness sessions, and further resources to staff and students. Please contact Staff Development if you wish to attend trans awareness training. Our 'Supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender Staff at Work Guidance' helps managers to develop a better understanding of the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities and provide guidance to meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) colleagues in their role as a manager as well as to create an inclusive team, performing at its best. Training and further resources are available for managers and colleagues.

Resources and contacts

We recognise that individuals studying or working at York St John may start, or be in the process of, transitioning on order to live in the gender they identify as. Our protocols and checklists provide more information about support with transitioning. York St John has a dedicated contact person to offer support and information to our trans students. Staff can contact their HR Consultant.

Resources and contacts

Students and staff can access wellbeing support through the Wellbeing Service and counselling through Care First respectively. The services provide a space for trans people to talk through any concerns they have and will either be able to offer support or signpost you to specialist support in the community.

Resources and contacts