The new Trans Learning Partnership (TLP), led by Spectra, is currently in the development phase of a larger long-term programme. City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, has provided funding for an initial 18-month period. The aim of this phase is to establish a data-sharing platform and identify key research priorities, for which further funding will be sought.
With this support, the dynamic partnership has begun development of its 4 year programme; co-producing research that inform service provision and policymaking. For the first time, we will collaborate on transitioning tacit knowledge held in our organisations into widely disseminated, utilisable information.
Together, the TLP partners are committed to a community participatory model of working, putting trans and non-binary people at the centre of the conception, design, guidance and delivery of all elements of the programme. Our decision-making group is structured so that trans and non-binary people always have the casting votes.
The Trans Learning Partnership comprises:
Since our formal launch in April 2020, TLP achievements have included:
Co-production of research priorities
We have identified research priorities for the TLP by undertaking focus groups with service users from each of the four partner agencies. This will inform our academic funding bids going forward.
Design and pilot of shared data platform
We have begun work on a unique platform which will enable the cross-comparison of fully anonymised and secure data between agencies, to enable collective learning and development of best practice. The platform has been designed by and for trans and non-binary people.
We are piloting the platform with a groundbreaking joint service user survey which will be used to evaluate our current trans services, help us better understand service users’ needs, and ensure that our services are inclusive and accessible to all trans people.
Improving Trans Experiences of Maternity Services
The TLP is a partner organisation in the ITEMS research project. Funded by NHS England, this has involved collating existing evidence and conducting Europe’s largest ever survey of trans birth parents. We will be supporting the National LGB&T Partnership and LGBT Foundation in publishing findings from the project through 2021.
Consultations and public inquiries
We have drawn on the collective expertise of the TLP to jointly submit evidence to a number of consultations and public inquiries. For example, in response to the House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee inquiry on the Reform of the Gender Recognition Act, the TLP submitted written evidence and our Research Coordinator was invited to present oral evidence.
We have recruited six trans and non-binary people to an Advisory Group which will provide independent scrutiny and ethical oversight of the work of the TLP.
Additionally, TLP steering group members and the Research Coordinator sit on advisory boards for external trans-oriented research projects, including Improving the integration of care for trans adults at the Open University, and Identifying the health and care needs of young trans and gender diverse people at the University of Oxford.
Trans Allyship within the HIV Sector
Over the last several years, trans communities have seen a significant rise in hostility from anti-trans activists (who sometimes describe themselves as ‘gender critical’). Such hostilities have created challenges for organisations committed to equality, but with unanswered questions about how to best support their trans service users. In July 2021, TLP produced Trans Allyship within the HIV Sector document to give some basic introductory context and ideas for organisations within the HIV sector supporting the Statement on Trans Rights.