Students in Brighton given pronoun badges, stickers to support transgender classmates

The council's badges contain different sets of pronouns and suggest whether people would like to be addressed as 'he', 'she' or 'they'


                            Students in Brighton given pronoun badges, stickers to support transgender classmates

School students in Brighton are being given pronoun stickers in an attempt to assist and support their transgender classmates in school. The initiative is a part of a larger pronoun badges campaign run by Brighton and Hove City Council, which aims to prevent "misgendering" of trans people. The council said that wearing the stickers in secondary schools is voluntary.

The council's badges contain different sets of pronouns and suggest whether people would like to be addressed as “he”, “she” or “they." Some badges are left blank in an attempt to allow people to fill in their own pronouns on them. Some of the badges read: "My pronouns are they/them/theirs," "My pronouns are she/her/hers," "My pronouns are ———" The stickers also include slogans like "respect my pronouns, respect me”, “gender is a spectrum," "my pronouns matter" and “trans ally."

L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. (Getty Images)
L.G.B.T. activists and their supporters rally in support of transgender people on the steps of New York City Hall, October 24, 2018 in New York City. (Getty Images)

They are being made available to all council and partner organization staff, as well as members of the public, who want to take part. Wearing the badges is, of course, voluntary. Secondary schools and colleges have participated in the initiative for the first time in support of the council's campaign and are giving out the stickers to students.

The move came after freshers at the University of Edinburgh were given similar badges in September last year to avoid wrong assumptions being made about a student's identity, according to reports. 

A Brighton & Hove City Council spokesperson told MEA Worldwide (MEAWW): " The badges and stickers help raise awareness that you can’t assume someone’s gender identity and the pronouns they use. We know from a range of evidence that gender is more complicated than is traditionally recognized. We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities and rights."

The council said that wearing the stickers in secondary schools is voluntary. (Brighton & Hove City Council)

The council mentioned that wearing the stickers in secondary schools is voluntary. (Brighton & Hove City Council)

"The stickers for the city’s secondary schools are for any young person who wants to show their support for the My Pronouns Are campaign - wearing them is of course voluntary. 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. Our equality and inclusion strategy rightly supports those who are experiencing greatest disadvantage," the spokesperson added.

The council, last year, had distributed badges to Brighton University for students and staff to display their pronouns. The council made the move after Sussex University Student Union advised students and staff to mention their pronouns at the beginning of every meeting to avoid misgendering.

People take part in the annual Pride In London parade on June 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
People take part in the annual Pride In London parade on June 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

The council's website states: "The badges are part of a campaign to raise awareness of trans and non-binary people to mark Trans Day of Visibility on 31 March. You can pick up one of the badges at any of the city’s libraries, the council customer service centres at Bartholomew House and Hove Town Hall, the receptions at Brighton Town Hall, Hove Town Hall and Portslade Town Hall, or in Brighton Museum, Hove Museum and the Register Office in Brighton Town Hall."

"The message of the campaign is to read the badge and respect people. It’s that easy. We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities, and rights. While there is more freedom and safety to be ourselves, 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," it added.