Janet Karla Cronin, Customer Service Supervisor, Thirsk

TransPennine Express celebrates International Transgender Day of Visibility

To celebrate International Transgender Day of Visibility, TransPennine Express (TPE) is highlighting the story of one of its colleagues who is proudly saying #IAmEnough

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) takes place on March 31 to celebrate trans and non-binary people and raise awareness of the discrimination they face around the world.

Rail is traditionally viewed as a male-dominated industry, but TPE is challenging this belief and has released a video highlighting one of its transgendered colleagues and has a simple message – the railway is for everyone and always will be.

TPE is showing it is leading the way when it comes to equality after winning the Diversity & Inclusion in Rail award at the prestigious Rail Business Awards ceremony earlier this year.

So, what is it like being transgender in the rail industry? Janet Karla Cronin shares her story.

Janet Karla Cronin, Customer Service Supervisor, Thirsk station said: “I work for TPE at the booking office at Thirsk station, and the past 23 years working on the railway has been quite the journey.

“Despite knowing I was transgender since 2000, I didn’t ‘come out’ until TDOV in 2020, which I couldn’t have done without the support my colleagues and TPE’s Customer Service & Operations Director, Kathryn O’Brien.

“In August 2019, I came out to a few close friends on social media, which was picked up by one of my supervisors at TPE. They offered me their support which led to my line manager enrolling me on one of TPE’s diversity courses.

“I attended the diversity course, which provided a lot of insight into diversity, inclusion and TPE’s commitment to providing this. I also met lots of great people on the course, who empowered me to be my authentic self and know that that is enough.

Janet added: “Having worked in Thirsk’s booking office for nearly five years at this point, I was a little apprehensive and concerned about how I would transition whilst at work. Fortunately, Kathryn stepped in and provided some words of support and encouraged me come out as Janet. I came to work dressed as Janet for the first time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“Today I am Janet, and I’m proud of myself and can say #IAmEnough. I would like to thank everyone at TransPennine Express for their continued support. I encourage everyone to be their true self and to know that you are not alone.”

To find out about diversity and inclusion at TPE, visit: www.tpexpress.co.uk/about-us/our-plan/diversity-and-inclusion