Can I choose which uniform to wear at school?

There is no legislation governing the wearing of a school uniform in Northern Ireland, so it falls to schools to determine this. Education Authority guidelines state that “schools can either have a gender-neutral uniform policy or a sex-specific uniform policy.” In either case, it is recommended that schools adopt a flexible approach to meet the needs of a pupil who is transgender.

However, no matter which uniform you choose to wear, you are expected to follow the uniform policy in the same way as other pupils, so you must follow the rules of your uniform of choice, such as no jewellery or makeup, etc.

If you attend a Further Education College, you are allowed to wear clothes that make you feel the most comfortable as there is no set uniform. Be sure to comply with any college-specific guidelines.

Can I choose which toilets or changing room to use at school?

Guidance by the Education Authority states that where requested, staff should give you access to toilets which match your gender identity, unless there is a good reason not to do so. Once you are approved to use the bathroom that aligns with your gender identity, you will be required to use only those facilities while at school or other educational settings.

Alternatively, if you feel more comfortable using a separate toilet or changing facility (i.e. a gender-neutral facility) your school should facilitate this too.

If your School does not allow you to use your preferred facility the reasons for this must be justified and reasonable.

The full guidance for Schools, EOTAS Centres and Youth Services on Supporting Transgender Young People can be found by clicking the link below.

Do schools have to support me if I tell teachers that I am transitioning/have transitioned?

Whilst there is no legal requirement for schools to accommodate the particular needs of trans pupils, the Education Authority have released guidance for schools on how they should support transgender pupils and they are encouraged to accommodate your needs as best they can.  Staff are expected to treat you with respect and to be non-judgmental.

The full guidance for Schools, EOTAS Centres and Youth Services on Supporting Transgender Young People can be found by clicking here.

Do I have to tell teachers in my school that I am transitioning/have transitioned?

You do not have to disclose to schools that you are transitioning but it may be in your best interests to do so.  If you have started to transition or have transitioned you may need to make them aware of your preferred name and gender and discuss with them which facilities you would prefer to use e.g. male or female toilets. 

Where possible, the school should try to accommodate your preferences. Any information you choose to disclose to the school about your transition should be treated as strictly confidential and will require your consent to be disclosed to others. All schools have received guidance from the Education Authority on how to support transgender pupils and to treat you respectfully. 

If you need further advice on how to inform your school that you are transitioning/have transitioned, contact Belfast Trans Resource Centre by clicking the link below.

How do I get a provisional driving licence for the first time using my preferred gender identity if I am under 16?

If you know your preferred gender identity before you are 15 years and 9 months old, you can apply for a provisional driving licence using the gender you feel most comfortable with.