Ruth Hunt became Stonewall’s Chief Executive in 2014. One of her first steps in her new role was to try to understand what, if anything, Stonewall could do in the fight for trans equality.
On 30 August 2014, a meeting was set up with trans professionals, campaigners and activists to discuss the possibility of Stonewall becoming trans inclusive.
It was one of many meetings that would start a conversation that was well overdue. Until this point, Stonewall had been firm about not campaigning for trans equality and many in the trans community didn’t trust Stonewall. Some believed Stonewall's stance was actively holding back trans equality.
The meetings were therefore also about building bridges.
As well as establishing if Stonewall could do trans campaigning, the charity had to also understand how it could contribute to the fight for trans equality.
The consultation ended up involving more than 700 organisations and individuals.
At the end of the process it became clear that the trans community wanted Stonewall to be fully trans inclusive and share the power that the charity had established in its 25-plus years of campaigning.
There had been discussion of Stonewall simply giving grants to trans organisations rather than becoming completely trans inclusive but this was rejected. Not only was it seen as a waste of time due to the bureaucracy for everyone involved, trans people highlighted that cis people are ill-equipped to make decisions on where money should be spent on furthering trans equality.
Following this consultation, Stonewall announced in February 2015 that it would now be campaigning for all of the LGBT community and was beginning a path to trans inclusion.
As part of this move, all Stonewall staff received trans inclusive training from Gendered Intelligence. Stonewall also established a Trans Advisory Group to steer Stonewall’s integration of trans equality across all of the charity’s campaigns and programmes. The group reflects a diverse range of trans voices and experiences.
Since 2015, Stonewall has published a number of guides and initiatives on becoming trans inclusive.
In April 2017, the Trans Advisory Group released A Vision For Change, a five-year roadmap to trans equality that underpins Stonewall’s work for trans equality.
The charity’s famous Top 100 is now also trans-inclusive following a three-year bedding in process and in 2018 Stonewall released its first list of the best trans-inclusive employers in Britain.