A WORCESTER councillor has called for an end to the “political rhetoric” that leads to trans hate crime.

Robyn Norfolk was speaking at a meeting of Worcester City Council at the Guildhall on Tuesday, July 9.

Cllr Norfolk had introduced an annual report to the council as its member champion for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).

She said it’d been a pleasure to work with council officers.

“It’s nice to see people who don’t see EDI as a waste of money,” said Cllr Norfolk. “EDI is very important to me, it’s very important to the officers in the council and I’m glad to say that over the last couple of years as your member champion, councillors have been wonderful too.”

Cllr Richard Udall said hate crime is a growing concern for many people and that “perpetrators are causing significant harm to individuals”.

He said: “Some of the public participation in this chamber was targeted at the trans community and I’m also aware that the trans community top the list of victims of hate crime in West Mercia.”

Cllr Udall asked how the council can help to eradicate such hate crime.

Cllr Norfolk responded: “I’m glad to say, in the 10 years or so that I’ve been out, I’ve received very little abuse for being trans.

“But having said that I do know of a small but youthful trans community in Worcester that regularly complain about trans hate crime.

“We have to stop the political rhetoric that goes along the lines that ‘you cannot change your gender’, ‘you cannot change your sex’, ‘we are mutilating young kids’.

“These are children that are going through huge trauma living in the body that they are, so all I can do is just call upon councillors and officers to normalise trans. That’s the only way that we can do it.”

In Cllr Norfolk’s report, she says highlights from the past 12 months include opening a Changing Places toilet facility in Cornmarket, attending an LGBT+ awareness training session and also a Gypsy, Romany and Travellers awareness session.