LGB rights charity Stonewall held a historic first meeting with people from the transgender community last weekend.
The charity, which has not previously represented trans issues, invited comments and feedback on how it may become involved with tackling issues faced by the transgender community.
It was described as “the first meeting of many” before Stonewall evaluates its position on representing trans issues.
The round table event, held on Saturday in central London, was attended by around 50 trans activists, as well as Stonewall chief executive Ruth Hunt and chair of trustees Jan Gooding.
Campaigner and journalist Jane Fae told My Genderation: “I thought today was a brilliant start. The issues we are going to face in the years ahead are much much bigger than one community.
“The nitty-gritty, we’ve got months of more consultation to work our way through that.”
Helen Belcher of Trans Media Watch said: “I think today has been a really important, very positive meeting that gives us a really good sense of how Stonewall can move forwards in this area.
“What really gives me hope is that Ruth has very clearly identified areas where Stonewall can work now, but there are also areas that effect trans people, where they will need to think very carefully.”
Stonewall CEO Ruth Hunt said: “I am so thrilled with the sheer positivity that came out of the room today. Such amazing energy, such appetite for collaboration and finding ways forward.”
Planned further meetings will reach out to trans minority groups, including as trans people of colour, and disabled trans activists, and Stonewall are also welcoming feedback from the trans community online, at www.stonewall.org.uk/trans.
A preliminary report will be released in January, and in April 2015, conclusions on the best way Stonewall can work with trans people will be issued.