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What is gender reassignment

A decision to undertake gender reassignment is made when an individual feels that his or her gender at birth does not match their gender identity. This is called ‘gender dysphoria’ and is a recognised medical condition.

Gender reassignment refers to individuals, whether staff, who either:

  • Have undergone, intend to undergo or are currently undergoing gender reassignment (medical and surgical treatment to alter the body).
  • Do not intend to undergo medical treatment but wish to live permanently in a different gender from their gender at birth.

‘Transition’ refers to the process and/or the period of time during which gender reassignment occurs (with or without medical intervention).

Not all people who undertake gender reassignment decide to undergo medical or surgical treatment to alter the body. However, some do and this process may take several years. Additionally, there is a process by which a person can obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate, which changes their legal gender.

People who have undertaken gender reassignment are sometimes referred to as Transgender or Trans (see glossary).

Transgender and sexual orientation

It should be noted that sexual orientation and transgender are not inter-related. It is incorrect to assume that someone who undertakes gender reassignment is lesbian or gay or that his or her sexual orientation will change after gender reassignment. However, historically the campaigns advocating equality for both transgender and lesbian, gay and bisexual communities have often been associated with each other. As a result, the University's staff and student support networks have established diversity networks that include both Sexual Orientation and Transgender groups.