New guidance for trans inclusion in museums, galleries and heritage organisations

Image: Museum of Transology, 2017, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Photo by James Pike

Published by the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, the guidance is hoped to create an ethical framework for trans inclusion

New guidance has been published for museum, gallery, archive and heritage staff which sets out an ethical framework to advance trans inclusion.

‘Trans-Inclusive Culture’ comes from the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG), and is designed to equip staff, volunteers, freelancers, leaders and trustees with the tools to positively impact the experiences of trans individuals and communities.

To shape the guidance, RCMG used the confidential responses of 130 cultural organisations to explore where they needed support and what specific issues they would like addressed.

The guidance, created alongside a team of legal scholars and experts in inclusion, equality and ethics,sets out the key components of relevant UK law as it stands. It also includes a series of scenarios with practical strategies and solutions, designed to build skills, knowledge and confidence for anyone working in this area.

Questions addressed in the research include ‘how can we develop trans-inclusive displays, events and public programming?’; ‘how can we generate a trans-inclusive organisational culture?’, and ‘how can we provide a warm welcome to (and ensure the safety of) trans visitors?’.

The actions and strategies shared in the guidance are hoped to enable a positive impact on the experiences of trans individuals and communities.

The trans-inclusive culture guidance

Advisor is among 19 culture sector organisations supporting the newly published guidance, alongside:

Acesso Cultura
Association of Independent Museums (AIM)
Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA)
Archives and Records Association (ARA)
Arts Marketing Association (AMA)
Engage; Fundación TyPA; Group for Education in Museums (GEM)
The Heritage Alliance
Heritage Volunteering Group (HVG)
ICOM ICME (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Ethnography)
ICOM ICOFOM (International Committee for Museology)
ICOM UK (International Council of Museums UK)
ICOM ICFA (International Committee for Museums and Collections of Fine Arts)
Kids in Museums
Museums + Heritage Advisor
Museums Association (MA)
Office de coopération et d’information muséales (OCIM) supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the University of Burgundy
South and East Museums Federation (SEMFed)
Scottish Museums Federation (SMFed).

Professor Richard Sandell, co-director of RCMG, said the guidance “intervenes in what has become a highly-charged debate by offering very straightforward, precise and deeply researched guidance to address the uncertainty and anxiety that many cultural organisations are experiencing.”

Liz Ellis, National Lottery Heritage Fund Policy Project Manager, (on behalf of the Heritage Fund) added: “ we know that across the cultural sector, wide ranging cultural organisations and creative industries want to achieve inclusion, wider access and put equity at the core of a sustainable sector. This guidance is timely and relevant across the UK and internationally’.

The guidance, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, has been made freely available to download from the RCMG website.