Transgender equality

We are the lead government department for transgender equality matters; and we are committed to improving the lives of transgendered people.

First ever government action plan to advance transgender equalityEqualities Minister Lynne Featherstone supports the Trans action plan.

As part of our work to improve the lives of transgendered people we've published the first ever cross government plan Advancing transgender equality - a plan for action.

This plan lays out our vision and our focus on equality for transgender people. It includes commitments that aim to make a real difference to people's lives.

Support for the Transgender action plan

  • Lynne Featherstone said of the plan: 'It's an important step, but I recognise that government can only go so far. So we will be working with schools, businesses and communities so that together, we can drive change and help consign transphobia to the past.' Lynne Featherstone launches the action plan on YouTube.
  • April Ashley, who in 1960 became the first Briton to undergo gender re-assignment surgery, said: 'I think there are so many support groups out there unlike when I did my transition 52 years ago when there was no help at all. Today’s announcement shows we are moving forward to breaking down barriers and educating people.'
  • The Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) said 'We applaud the government's transgender equality action plan. It contains a welcome range of commitments from major government departments to improve the lives of trans people. Trans people recognise that there is much more to do and will continue their productive relationship with the Government, not only to assess how well the plan is working but also to identify fresh initiatives for the government to consider.'
  • Jay Stewart, co founder of Gendered Intelligence, which works to tackle transphobic bullying in schools and across communities, said: 'The transgender action plan demonstrates a commitment across government to ensure fair treatment to transgender people. It's fantastic news for our community.'

LGBT action plan

We also published the action plan Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equality: Moving Forward on 14 March. This included a range of commitments to benefit lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGB and T). However, we understand that transgender people can face distinct and separate issues and so have published the separate action plan above.

Engaging with the community


To ensure that the action plan addresses the needs of the trans community, we engaged with a wide range of transgender partners, organisations and individuals, by sending out  E-Bulletins to the trans community, and by conducting online surveys.

Online surveys

We also conducted three online surveys asking transgender people to contribute their ideas and tell us the areas they would like us to concentrate on.

We used the feedback included from these surveys as well as our engagement with the wider transgender community to shape the development of Advancing transgender equality: a plan for action.

If you would like to participate in our surveys or receive our E-Bulletins in the future please email us.

Add your support to the Sports charter cause

You can help spread the message far and wide that there is no room for homophobia or transphobia in sport. Show your support - email us, like our Facebook page and invite your friends, team mates and local clubs to sign up too. Find out more about the sports charter.

What we mean by transgendered

While there is no agreed definition of transgender (or trans), it is generally used as an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (self-identification as being a woman, man, neither or both) differs from the sex they were registered with at birth. The term includes, but is not limited to, transsexual people.

Gender identity and transgenderism are different and separate from sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is how someone defines their sexual attraction and is not linked to how one defines their internal sense of gender. Transgendered people can identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or heterosexual.

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