Council staff given thousands of pronoun badges so public don’t assume their gender

Posted On 09 Mar 2018 at 9:31 am

Council staff are being asked to wear special badges announcing their preferred pronouns so that members of the public don’t assume their gender.

The initiative – first published in Buzzfeed on Tuesday and on which staff were briefed yesterday, International Women’s Day – will see 16,000 badges printed at a cost of £1,800 and distributed to council staff, residents, and community and voluntary sector workers.

Some of the badges will ask people to refer to the wearer as she/her or he/him or they/their and others will have a space left blank for wearers to write in alternative preferred pronouns. Although this will be up to the individual, some alternative pronouns in use by the genderqueer community worldwide are ze, sie, hir, co, and e.

The project, which is being launched later this month to mark Trans Day of Visibility on 31 March, is organised and funded by the council, the Clare Project and Trans Alliance, the council’s LGBT Workers Forum, local NHS trusts, the University of Brighton and Sussex Police.

Cllr Emma Daniel, chair of the neighbourhoods, inclusion, communities and equality committee said: “We all define our own gender and we should respect other people’s identities, and rights.

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“Now there is more freedom and safety to be ourselves. But 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.

“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.

“Read the badge, respect people, it’s that easy.”

Council staff were emailed yesterday – the day after the initiative was published in Buzzfeed – to tell them about the initiative, with a “full briefing” promised at a later date.

The email said: “The badges will be voluntary to wear and no-one will be expected to wear them if they don’t want to … We hope that as many staff as possible join in the campaign, celebrate our diverse city, and help raise awareness of trans and non-binary people.”

  1. Fishwife, 49 Reply

    I think I’m going to avoid the Argus comments section today: I’m running low on headache tablets.

    • Chris Reply

      I know what you mean about the Argus comments, they are just puerile bickering nowadays, with little relevance, and best avoided.

      However this article makes me want a badge saying “I’m fed up with stupid diversity campaigns and just want someone to register that I exist when speaking to them”.

    • Valerie Paynter Reply

      Very sad that the Argus indulges its resident trollerati to the hilt – at times comedic, but mostly just abusive nonsense, uninformative and off-topic. It puts people off reading through or if there are dozens and dozens and dozens, just skimming past it all.

  2. Aaron Reply

    I thought we were meant to stop labels but now we have even more. Simple answer is to ask their name.

  3. Nick Reply

    Gave up on The Argus a long time ago due to the comments…a truly horrible corner of the internet

  4. Jo Reply

    Baloney on a Stick…. I think the badge idea is ridiculous.

  5. Rebecca Reply

    Oh gaaaaaaaad seriously there are real problems going on in the world this is such a load of attention seeking rubbish!!!

  6. Ajay Reply

    What a ridiculous use of our money by an already cash-strapped council. How many breakfasts could that have bought for school breakfast clubs? Or potholes fixed? Litter cleared? Or community improvements.
    To put it in context, that is all of my council tax spent on badges, marvellous!

  7. Steve Parry Reply

    As someone who treats everyone as equals I find this absurd and an excuse for not tackling real discrimination. PR at its worst and most inneffective

  8. Claire Reply

    Surely you only need to use a pronoun when you’re talking ABOUT someone not TO them? Do Brighton and Hove council know that or were they too busy virtue signalling to deal with the details?

  9. Chaz Wyman Reply

    These badges can be bought in the UK for £2600. Who is creaming off the profit from the rate payers, for this rubbish?

  10. Jeff White Reply

    “They, their, theirs”. What about “them”?

  11. Barney Reply

    More lunacy from a group that couldn’t organise a booze-up in a brewery, let alone run a town.

    Oh, silly me. It’s a “city” now.

    As for the Argus comments section, I couldn’t agree more. They should clean it up (easily done) or get rid of it entirely.

    From what I’ve seen though, Argus “reporters” could do with a few lessons in literacy.

  12. Gerald Wiley Reply

    And although the wearing of badges is “voluntary”, I assume anyone that doesn’t will be labelled “transphobic”. And apart from the cost of producing the actual badges, how much time and money will be wasted on the staff briefings?

    But good to see our hard earned council taxes being used for vital services in the city when they are whinging about government cutbacks. As well as NHS trusts, the University of Brighton and Sussex Police who complain about lack of money, but obviously have some spare to support activities like this.

    I would definitely put the council’s “neighbourhoods, inclusion, communities and equality committee” down as one to get rid of immediately to make a saving.

    But then, I suppose, I would be counted as “transphobic” and “not embracing diversity”.

    Are you okay with this Valerie? Or don’t you want the residents who voted for these councillors and fund their pet projects to have a voice?

    • Robert Jackson Reply

      “I assume” “I suppose”…

      Always the best thing to do in life, heaven forbid we should speak from an informed position using facts.

      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        Because, Robert, knowing what happens in the world of “thought police”, when anyone questions spending or support for projects concerning diversity or inclusivity they always seem to be classed as “phobics”.

        I suppose you could make an intelligent response to this assuming that you have a view?

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  15. Lunacy Left never ends Reply

    Our daily reminder why the HardLeft is a cancer on our planet

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