“These findings are shocking but in no way unexpected”


Content warning: this article includes references to transphobia, racism and ableism

One of the largest direct surveys of trans experiences in the UK was published today. The survey data shows the extent of crisis we as trans and non-binary people are facing. The report is based on the TransActual Community Voice Survey, an online survey for trans adults in the UK carried out between January and February 2021. There were 697 eligible respondents and Chay Brown, director of TransActual, stated: “These findings are shocking but in no way unexpected. They merely put figures to a perilous situation that almost every trans person in the UK is well aware of”. 

The key findings of the report were:

  • 45% of trans people have experienced homelessness, that figure rises to 36% for both trans people of colour and trans disabled people
  • 65% of non-binary people want to access ID that affirms their gender
  • 55% of trans people don’t have gender congruent ID. 78% non binary people, 37% trans men and 38% trans women

Trans experiences in healthcare:

  • 98% of trans respondents do not think that NHS transition related care is completely adequate
  • 45% of respondents said that their GP did not have a good understanding of their needs as a trans person
  • People of colour reported being more severely impacted by their healthcare provider’s lack of understanding of trans-specific health needs, with 78% reporting being impacted to some extent
  • Similarly, disabled people are also severely impacted by their healthcare provider’s lack of understanding of trans-specific health needs. 77% of disabled people report that this has impacted them

Experiences of transphobia: 

  • 40% experienced transphobia seeking housing, 61% for people of colour and 50% of disabled trans people
  • 63% reported experiencing transphobia whilst seeking employment, 73% for people of colour, 69% for disabled people
  • 85% of trans women reported being subjected to transphobia from strangers on the street, in comparison to 71% of trans men and 73% of non-binary people
  • 93% of participants reported that transphobia within the media had an impact on their experience of transphobia from strangers in the street, 85% said it impacted how their family treats them

Whilst these findings show the crisis that we are experiencing, I am pleased that a survey at this scale has taken place. The world can no longer ignore the needs for change when it comes to trans and non-binary experiences. 

jane fae, director of TransActual and chair of Trans Media Watch said: “The real scandal here is how comprehensively the media have conspired to ignore this situation, preferring, instead, to produce tens of thousands of words on the largely imagined consequences of reform to the Gender Recognition Act … The bottom line is: transphobia impacts all aspects of daily life for trans people … This report is essential reading for anyone working in healthcare or in the media, as well as for policy makers and employers”.

TransActual is an organisation run by trans people for trans people in the UK who work towards a world where trans people can live our lives safely, with dignity and with access to appropriate healthcare and recognition. 

To read the full survey results visit transactual.org.uk/trans-lives-21

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