What media professionals say:

Sarah Oliver

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
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
Helen Lewis

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

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

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

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

Owen Jones Journalist

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

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

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

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

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
Mark Nicol

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