What media professionals say:
Sarah Oliver Features Writer, Mail on Sunday
I was most surprised by the hostility faced by some members of the [trans] community from their families. The support I would seek from All About Trans from here on would be able to seek advice and guidance when I am covering a story about a trans person.
Mark Bickerton Series Story Producer, Emmerdale, ITV
I found the WHOLE interaction useful and enjoyable, though the one-to-one sessions proved the most invaluable in getting to know each other. I was reassured that nothing said in the meeting was to be deemed “the wrong thing” and when I made a mistake in terms of calling a person he or she wrongly, I apologised for my slip and the error was met with good humour…we should continue this dialogue and I’d welcome your input if and when we play an Emmerdale story about a transgender character.
Helen Lewis Deputy Editor, New Statesman
It was great to chat individually with people: it felt very friendly & informal. And it was useful to have a range of ages, races & genders represented. It was useful to hear about how important the census is for accurate data - as government funding is distributed on this basis. And it was eye opening to hear about some of the basic problems, like toilet use. It would be helpful to keep in touch as issues arise.
Cathy Newman Channel 4 News Presenter, journalist, The Telegraph’s Wonder Women, FactCheck blog
It was useful in challenging perceptions, education, suggesting story ideas and what surprised me most was that there is no need to define trans people by their surgery or lack of surgery.
Robin Esser Executive Managing Editor, The Daily Mail
I think the best thing I got out of our lunch was meeting you all. I am aware that some are prejudiced against transgender people but I am not one of those which you may have gathered. The second thing was to hear that you are preparing a briefing note for all journalists on the phrases to be used and not used when transgender people are in the news. I look forward to seeing the revised advice.
Lauren Heeley Researcher, Hollyoaks
Our working relationship has been really effective and I would like for this to continue; advice on scripts and storyline points has been invaluable...I really enjoyed the group work as it gave me chance to get to know people better and hear their individual stories.
Owen Jones Journalist
Paris Lees is passionate about winning trans allies through the impressive awareness raising project All About Trans.
Cleo Bicat Script Researcher, EastEnders
What surprised me most was the fact that everyone felt that it wasn’t a choice to be transgender and a problem of society’s perception rather than an internal struggle. If we do a story with a transgender character it would be very useful for us to contact you!
Piers Bradford Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio One & 1Xtra
I expected to be lectured but this was an opportunity to have an open and honest chat with some trans people. I found it very insightful, and has led to several programme ideas which have made it on air.
Ian Critchley Independent Consultant, former BBC Head of Creative Resources
The experience gave great promise of a better awareness of the issues facing the trans community. Having spent some time listening to people’s stories we came to the view that the best way to help move things on was to think about some kind of bursary or writing competition which would give the opportunity to explore things further. (On the Trans Comedy Award)
Jane Hill Presenter, BBC News
I found the most useful aspect to be hearing directly from trans people and I realised that even I, as a gay person, can improve my use of language – therefore the newsroom as a whole could learn a huge amount.
Ellen Branagh Chief Reporter, Press Association
It was actually just really useful to meet some young trans people, which was certainly a first for me, and to get the chance to talk frankly, especially about the way stories are covered and the kinds of stories we might be able to work together on.
Tom Peck News Reporter, The Independent
Thanks to my @AllAboutTrans training, can confirm @independent and @mailonline have got Chelsea Manning story right.
Vicky Allan Features Writer, The Scotland Herald
The wide and rather wonderful diversity of gender identity surprised me the most. I found it really refreshing. In the first place I was surprised by the use of the pronoun "they", since (probably a bit ignorantly) I hadn't heard it used before - but quickly I got used to the idea of it. I thought the idea of just sitting in small groups and talking, without any fixed agenda, was great. It felt like we could ask whatever kind of questions we want.
Mark Nicol Defence Editor, Mail on Sunday
It's been very interesting, very educative. It's all been very human and personal without being schmaltzy.