Beyond the Binary: Non-Binary Awareness Training

Institution: University of Strathclyde

Lead Contact: Leo Siebert

Contact Details:



'Beyond the Binary': Non-binary awareness training for staff and students to better include and support non-binary students.

Why was the activity established? Was there a perceived need, evidence of issue?

As president of the LGBT+ society at Strathclyde Students’ Union at the time, Leo was in contact with a number of non-binary students who reported experiencing issues on campus. While there was usually general awareness around LGBT identities, the students felt like more work needed to be done to educate people about non-binary identities specifically. This training included an introduction to gender, non-binary identities, terminology and pronouns, alongside tips such as not splitting groups up by gender, or assuming gender identity and pronouns. The training was also provided to front-facing staff in the University and in the Students’ Union.


How effective has the activity been and how has impact been measured?

There were around 30 attendees and the feedback received was very positive, with staff in particular reporting that they found the session to be very useful. There was no formal impact assessment as such, but Leo reports that generally "less issues have been brought to the LGBT+ Society around non-binary experiences since the training session".


Any lessons learned or advice for others considering a similar activity?

There are many existing resources and materials that can be successfully used and adapted to deliver training of this kind, and so there is often no need to start from scratch. There was a lot more interest in the event than Leo had initially hoped and, as a result, Leo reports that it "really proved worthwhile to organise this event".


What has worked well?

Leo reports that attendance was better than originally expected, and so the uptake was very positive. Due to the combined expertise of Leo on the experience of Strathclyde students specifically and of Vic Valentine from Scottish Trans who co-delivered the session, it was relatively simple to generate the content of the training. Vic also disseminated booklets on non-binary inclusion in service provision, which attendees were able to take away and consider following the session.

Have there been any challenges?

As Leo usually organises events for students, he faced particular challenges in engaging with and attracting staff from across the institution: 

"The event began at 5pm in order to accommodate typical 9-5 working hours, however in retrospect staff may have been able to attend this training as part of their workday since it is relevant to their job. This is definitely something to consider in the future."