Pronoun badges: 'What it comes down to is respect'

The pronoun badges are now available in Brighton and Hove
The pronoun badges are now available in Brighton and Hove

Hopes are high that new preferred pronoun badges will help people feel more safe and included in Brighton.

Badges allowing people to specify their pronouns are available in most Brighton and Hove libraries and town halls as part of a campaign for transgender awareness.

They state the preferred pronoun of the wearer to point out ‘you can’t assume someone’s gender identity and the pronouns they use'.

The badges, which illustrate a variety of pronouns including ‘he/him/his’ and ‘they/their/theirs’ or have instructions like ‘please use my name’, have been made available to the public this week to mark Trans Day of Visibility on Friday, March 30.

Back in 2015 the city council’s Trans Needs Assessment report highlighted the need to remove stigma.

After the badges were produced for a conference last summer it was decided the initiative should be rolled out across the city.

Yassine Senghor, manager at the Marlborough Pub and Theatre, said: “I think it will continue the conversation and open it up to people who might not be aware and for those that this is particularly relevant.

“It says you are being seen, you are being heard and you are of value to the people in local government.”

The Marlborough was given the badges to hand out to customers by charity The Clare Project, which is supporting the campaign.

Not everyone believes the badges will make a difference.

Richard Fletcher, 58, from York and visiting Brighton said: “I don’t think it’s going to make an impact at all.”

Mr Fletcher said the city council shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘transgender’ and it should of been incorporated on the badges which he described as quite ambiguous.

“I think this is a bit low-key, sometimes you have to wonder or not if people have the intelligence to look further,” he said.

Ms Senghor said: “Unfortunately I think Brighton is a bit of an anomaly.

“I think the queer or LGBT community is a little bit more marginalised in other cities.”

She added: “What it all comes down to is respect and you just need to respect everybody.

"What we’re all ultimately fighting for is just acceptance and freedom to be and live as who we are.”