What media professionals and All About Trans volunteers say:

Ian Katz

I think it’s been fantastic. We sometimes treat conversations [about being trans] as abstract, academic discussion. Hearing people talk about their experience, about being challenged all throughout their lives makes you think again about the whole issue.

Ian Katz Editor, BBC Newsnight
All About Trans volunteers

Thank you guys, for coming out, particularly the media representatives. You play a very large part in putting our voices, our stories out there. And sometimes, yes, it comes across that we sound so angry towards you. But I want to show that I’m grateful for you putting our stories out there and raising our platform.

Romario Wanliss on meeting BBC Newsnight All About Trans volunteer
Mail on Sunday interaction

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.

Sarah Oliver Features Writer, Mail on Sunday
BBC Wales interaction

[On my interaction with All About Trans] I learnt about non-binary identities, which I wasn't previously aware of. Also, the huge array of experiences and stories.

Joe Goodden Senior Producer Interactive & Learning, BBC Wales
Volunteer photographs

Media representations have a very real impact on so many aspects of our day-to-day lives and by meeting personally with the media like this, we can start to see changes happen.

Ethan on meeting BBC Wales All About Trans volunteer
Mark Bickerton

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.

Mark Bickerton Series Story Producer, Emmerdale, ITV
Volunteer photographs

It was great to meet people who can make things happen. They are the people who pull the strings which I have to work [with] every day. It was nice to know they want to do something positive about the lack of trans education in schools.

Jake on meeting the Department for Education All About Trans volunteer
Volunteer photographs

I was really nervous about coming here today. I almost didn't come. And now I'm very glad that I did, it opened me up a bit and made me more confident in myself. It's nice to have a reassurance and faith in humanity.

Mark about being on an interaction with IPSO All About Trans volunteer
New Statesman interaction

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.

Helen Lewis Deputy Editor, New Statesman
Volunteer photographs

The relaxed atmosphere and the fact it was held on set with [the] cast gave me a unique insight into their working environment and what they expected to achieve. [It was] so important to have that relaxed environment. The opportunity to hear other trans experiences was brilliant for self-development and self-awareness.

Megan on meeting Hollyoaks All About Trans volunteer

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.

Cathy Newman Channel 4 News Presenter, journalist, The Telegraph’s Wonder Women, FactCheck blog

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.

Robin Esser Executive Managing Editor, The Daily Mail
Volunteer photographs

In the interaction, I think I was just most surprised that these people we're so open and accepting, because to be honest if I saw most of the guys on the tube or in the street I would have thought they would be...someone who might be a bit transphobic, so its nice to know that not everyone is [transphobic] and that there are some good guys out there. It left me feeling really positive about the world.

Charlie on an interaction with IPSO All About Trans volunteer

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.

Lauren Heeley Researcher, Hollyoaks

Hollyoaks treated me as they would any other worker – why wouldn’t they? I had such a positive experience with them. I’m...leaving with new films for my show-reel and new friends. To think all of this came out of one All About Trans interaction is incredible.

Lewis on meeting with Hollyoaks All About Trans volunteer

Paris Lees is passionate about winning trans allies through the impressive awareness raising project All About Trans.

Owen Jones Journalist
Volunteer photographs

It was really good to meet people from different backgrounds, [to learn about] their upbringing compared to mine and to let them know it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s okay to get my pronoun wrong, I’m not going to jump down your throat, let’s just talk about it. It’s great just to break down barriers and let people see the person not just for being a trans person.

Kate on meeting IPSO All About Trans Volunteer
Interaction with 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!

Cleo Bicat Script Researcher, EastEnders

As well as helping [the media professionals] to understand trans identities, the interaction challenged some of my own prejudices. I had prepared myself for difficult questions to the point that I expected inappropriate ones, but [individuals I spoke with] were both really understanding, and keen to hear what we had to say.

Michael on meeting the Scotland Herald All About Trans volunteer
IPSO interaction

You hear about a lot of trans issues with a political hat on...lobbies or enquiries. It’s good to see there are people who have made those decisions - it’s not just a political argument. There’s a reason why this argument is happening.

Hugo Wallis Complaints Officer, IPSO

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.

Piers Bradford Commissioning Editor, BBC Radio One & 1Xtra
Ian Critchley 1

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)

Ian Critchley Independent Consultant, former BBC Head of Creative Resources
Chairs and flower

We were excited and giddy when we left, [but] it is hard to know what impression we left them with. If nothing more, hopefully that trans people are real people, living in Brighton, studying, working, and muddling on through their lives trying to figure stuff out like everyone else.

Edward on meeting the Argus All About Trans volunteer
BBC North West interaction

It was friendly, informative and just a really warm environment...It’s the beginning of a really helpful relationship between All About Trans and the BBC.

Davina Earl Script Editor, BBC North West

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.

Jane Hill Presenter, BBC News
All About Trans volunteer

It’s been nothing but a pleasure to meet inspiring people and hear a positive message. Great to hear people say: 'I’ll take this back to the office'. There's been a really cool vibe, so thank you.

Henry on meeting BBC Wales All About Trans volunteer

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.

Ellen Branagh Chief Reporter, Press Association

The experiences [volunteers] shared had a real impact on the members of the Department for Education...Questions around ‘believing’ pupils and ‘accepting’ their choices as authentic seemed to promote genuinely positive debate that could enact change.

Juno on meeting with the Department for Education All About Trans volunteer

Thanks to my @AllAboutTrans training, can confirm @independent and @mailonline have got Chelsea Manning story right.

Tom Peck News Reporter, The Independent
Vicky Allan

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.

Vicky Allan Features Writer, The Scotland Herald

The interaction was really great fun and it’s fantastic to see [All About Trans] making an impact in media representation of trans people. I really appreciated that the focus was on positive trans experience and positivity in general which is actually quite rare with trans organisations! Also, all the other volunteers were really welcoming even though I hadn’t done an interaction before, and it was great to see so many people on board with the project.

Jesse on meeting BBC Editorial Policy All About Trans volunteer
Mail on Sunday interaction

It's been very interesting, very educative. It's all been very human and personal without being schmaltzy.

Mark Nicol Defence Editor, Mail on Sunday