Effective D&I Marketing for Trans and Non-Binary Communities

By Aby Hawker

On 12th March 2024, the CIM South East Region proudly hosted a webinar with Aby on effective D&I marketing for trans and non-binary communities. Here Aby provides her key takeaways from that session and some practical tips you can use in your day-to-day marketing.

As we continue to be bombarded by misinformation and disinformation about the trans+ experience, it is crucial that marketing professionals are able to cut through the noise and ensure they operate with integrity. This is especially important when guiding the organisations and clients with whom they work through this often contentious space.

Having even a basic understanding of the challenges facing the trans+ community, along with the key considerations that exist when it comes to interacting respectfully with this group of individuals, and why it matters, will ensure your work not only resonates with those with whom you are looking to engage but that your actions do not do further harm to this already marginalised community.

Statistics show that anti-trans hate crime rose by 11% in 2023 and by 186% over the past five years. Research published by the British Social Attitudes survey revealed a decline from 82% in 2019 to 64% in 2022 in response to the statement that respondents were “not at all prejudiced against trans people.” Much of this change in attitudes has been attributed to the anti-trans media narrative that has become commonplace.

So what can marketing professionals do to increase their understanding in this area? Here are five top tips:

1. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Recognise that fear - of getting it wrong, of causing offense, of being cancelled - is not a reason to stay out of the conversation. Sticking your head in the sand will not make life better for trans and non-binary people, so access the relevant training so that, when the topic comes up, you can provide informed insights and support to your team. Visit www.transmissionpr.com if you would like to discuss your specific needs.

2. Make friends with Google! There is so much incredible content available online from glossaries to academic studies and everything in between. Take the time to learn so that you can be more confident in navigating this space.

3. Follow trans content creators. Hear first-hand what life for a trans+ person is really like. Here are a few amazing content creators to get you started: Max Siegel, Thea Bardot, Ben Pechey, Tate Smith, Danielle St James.

4. Bring the team along. Transgender and non-binary people are protected under the 2010 Equality Act which means that bringing staff along on the inclusion and awareness journey is crucial, not just in making life easier for this marginalised group, but in protecting the organisation against litigation.

5. Take a stand. When you stand up for a marginalised community, not everyone will agree with you and those who don’t are likely to be very vocal about it. You have to decide what and who matters and what it says about you as an individual, brand or organisation. Compare Bud Light’s limp response to the backlash it experienced over platforming trans social media superstar, Dylan Mulvaney, with Nike’s decision to stand by its choice of Colin Kaepernick, despite both brands experiencing a significant backlash.

Aby Hawker is the CEO and founder of TransMission PR, a communications consultancy specialising in transgender and non-binary inclusion and awareness.