Many people experience feelings of stress and anxiety at the disconnect they feel between their gender identity and appearance. We have created the Gender Expression Fund to provide financial assistance for students to purchase items that will make them more comfortable with their gender presentation and, we hope, improve their wellbeing.
For more information, advice and guidance take a look at our Students' Guide to Changing your Gender at UCL!
What does the Fund cover?
Grants can be used to purchase gender affirming products such as clothing, binders, packers and beauty products.
Grants can also be used towards travel to medical or therapy/counselling appointments, but we are not able to provide funding for treatment or other medical procedures.
We anticipate grants will usually be around £50, but in expectational circumstances may be up to a maximum of £100.
The Union has designated a total of £3000 for this fund in 2022/23.
Who is eligible to apply?
To be eligible for help from the Gender Expression Fund, a student should:
- Be currently registered as a UCL student
- Identify as trans, non-binary, intersex or otherwise gender diverse
- Have reasonable need for items or transport expenses to be covered by the fund (i.e. not already have lots of the item they are requesting unless they are needing to replace it, be travelling to a location further than necessary)
- Have not used the fund excessively before (with the option to justify if there is a reasonable explanation like extreme hardship, or change of circumstances, clothing size etc.)
- Not be requesting items with excessive costs (e.g. custom products), unless explicitly necessary for reasons of sizing or access needs to be considered
- Not be requesting funding for medical treatment (such as hormone therapy or surgical procedures) or to fund private counselling/therapy.
Students applying to the fund just need to fill out our Gender Expression Fund Request Form.
Once the form has been submitted it will normally be reviewed by our Equity and Inclusion Officer, supported by our Advice Service. The only time this may differ is if these people are not available, at which point another member of the Sabbatical Officer team or the Equity and Inclusion Unit Coordinator may assist.
Once a decision is made, the applicant will be informed of the outcome and payment will usually be authorised via BACS (bank transfer).
Please note, all applications are treated sensitively and all information is kept confidential.
This is trust-based process based on self-declaration by the student, not investigation by the Union.
Why does the Fund exist?
In February 2022, our President and Provost Dr Michael Spence, published a statement to condemn discrimination and marginalisation at UCL. Following a meeting with students from our LGBTQ+ Network to address concerns raised after the University's decision not to re-join the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme or enter the 2023 Workplace Equality Index, the Provost agreed to a number of recommendations made by the Network. One of these was the establishment of of a small grants fund to support the needs of our trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming students.