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Paid leave for transgender staff who want reassignment surgery, students told to use each person’s preferred pronoun.

A Melbourne University has announced a gender initiative for its transgender staff members.

Employees of Deakin University will be awarded up to ten days of paid leave while undergoing gender ‘reassignment’ surgery.

Chief operating officer Kean Selway said, “The paid leave is backed by a new gender transition policy which provides security and clarity around the process for Deakin staff who are undergoing a gender transition.

“Fostering a genuinely inclusive environment affords all our staff and students a sense of belonging and an equal chance of success whether it be through study or work.”

The Deakin Gender Transition Procedure,  states: “The University aims to foster an inclusive and vibrant culture where all members of the University are treated with respect, which includes being addressed according to the individuals preferred names and pronouns.”

According to Deakin’s Gender Transition Guide:

You can’t always know what someone’s pronouns are by looking at them. Asking for and correctly using someone’s pronouns is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their gender identity.

When someone is referred to with the wrong pronoun, it can make them feel disrespected, invalidated, dismissed, alienated, or dysphoric (often all of them). It is a privilege to not have to worry about which pronoun someone is going to use for you based on how they perceive your gender. If you have this privilege, yet fail to respect someone else’s gender identity, it is not only disrespectful and hurtful, but also oppressive.

We encourage and expect that you use a student or staff member’s chosen name and their pronouns. Not using a person’s correct name and pronouns can create a classroom/workplace environment that could be very difficult to thrive in.

The guide goes on to explain, the University also “recognises that staff and students have the right to use toilets and other facilities… appropriate to their affirming gender.” Furthermore, the institution has installed all gender toilets and change rooms on every campus.

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