The Gender Fluidity project, a new project supporting, exploring and understanding gender identity, is kicking off in Wales this month.

A recent study conducted by the LGBT Excellence Centre Wales showed that 12% of young people identified as Transgender. Questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in this study highlighted that gender fluidity may be more prevalent than previously thought.

No official studies or statistics have ever been conducted or confirmed, and whilst this research might not necessarily be reflective of how many transgender people exists in the UK it does highlight that there is a section of our community that still need to be better understood and whose needs cannot be ignored.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission last year also published a piece of research that indicated that trans people were the worse discriminated group in the UK.

Funded by Awards for All, the Gender Fluidity project seeks to explore gender as a modern concept through recording how people’s feelings and perceptions of gender are changing.

The World Health Organisation defines gender as “women’s and men’s roles and responsibilities, which are socially determined”. To this end, the Excellence Centre is aiming to raise awareness of those gender issues that affect us all, but that have even a greater impact on transgender people.

Federico Podeschi, Chief Executive of the LGBT Excellence Centre said: “Gender conditioning is a phenomenon that has characterised generations for centuries around how a man or a woman should behave or what is expected of each gender: like who should be wearing certain colours or whether it is ok for men to cry and for women to wear trousers. However, these rules are often social constructs that are difficult for many to adhere to, and for a transgender person or someone living between genders it is impossible to live their life without “breaking these rules” and very often many lack even legal protection. We hope that the Gender Fluidity project will help dismantle these outdated stereotypes that are common to so many people in society and also help achieve better equality for transgender people”.

The Gender Fluidity project is looking for anyone who has an experience or story around what gender means to them by visiting www.ecwales.org.uk/gender. All stories will be shared for the wider community to learn from each other and help the policy makers and authorities understand how they can better support people. Individuals who want to get further support can also contact the LGBT Excellence Centre on a confidential basis by either calling 0800 023 2201 or emailing gender@ecwales.org.uk.

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