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Supporting Trans Volunteers

This page provides practical guidance on supporting trans volunteers. For more general information on what being trans means, please click here.

Scouting is an inclusive movement and volunteers who are trans should be treated as the gender they identify as, regardless of what (if any) medical or legal steps they have taken to change their gender. Discrimination or harassment towards trans people is against the law, and we have a duty to make sure that trans volunteers can access Scouting. This includes anticipating the needs of any future members.

How can I support a volunteer who is transgender?

What do I need to think about when planning trips or events?
Be aware that some countries are not as open as the UK, legally and culturally. In some countries, it is illegal to be trans. Check the laws for the county before you visit, and plan ahead.

How can I support a volunteer who is transitioning?
A current adult volunteer may inform you that they will be changing their physical appearance, from the sex they were assigned at birth to the gender they identify as. Some preparation and planning may be needed to support that volunteer.

You might discuss a range of options including:

Remember to update all communication and records to the volunteer’ preferred name and pronouns. You don’t need to ask for proof or documentation of any kind to do this.

It may be appropriate or necessary to plan (with the volunteer) a discussion with young people or parents/carers in the section/unit. In this case, discuss and consider:

For further support or guidance on specific situations, please contact the Scouts Information Centre on 0845 300 1818 or info.centre@scout.org.uk. Remember that you can seek advice without revealing the person’s name/identity.

How do I respond to any volunteers in my District/County who are not inclusive of transgender Members?
Volunteers should be reminded of their commitment to The Scout Association’s Equal Opportunities Policy and their line manager should support them to change their practice. A lack of awareness or understanding may be to blame, and some education may be helpful. This could involve discussion, or it may be useful to arrange an awareness raising session in your District/County.

The Specialist Advisors for Inclusion Team offer training across gender identity, sexual orientation and other areas of inclusion.

It is the responsibility of all adults to act as role models by celebrating diversity and creating an environment in which all Members can enjoy safe, inclusive Scouting.


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