New research exposes the profound discrimination faced by trans people in Britain | Scotland
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New research exposes the profound discrimination faced by trans people in Britain

  • One in eight trans employees (12 per cent) have been physically attacked by a colleague or customer in the last year

  • Half of trans people (51 per cent) have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination

  • A quarter of trans people (25 per cent) have experienced homelessness

New research from Stonewall lays bare the shocking impact of widespread transphobia in Britain today. The report, based on research with 871 trans and non-binary people by YouGov, reveals the daily discrimination and hate crime faced by trans people. The report further shows: 

  • Two in five trans people (42 per cent) who would like to undergo medical intervention as part of their transition, haven’t done so yet, because they fear the consequences it might have on their family life. 
  • Almost half (48 per cent) of trans people don’t feel comfortable using public toilets through fear of discrimination or harassment.
  • A third of trans people (34 per cent) have been discriminated against because of their gender identity when visiting a café, restaurant, bar or nightclub in the last year.
  • More than a quarter (28 per cent) of trans people in a relationship in the last year have faced domestic abuse from a partner. 
  • More than two in five trans people (44 per cent) avoid certain streets because they don’t feel safe there as an LGBT person.
  • One in four (25 per cent) were discriminated against when looking for a house or flat to rent or buy in the last year. One in five non-binary people (20 per cent) have experienced discrimination while looking for a new home. 
  • When accessing general healthcare services in the last year, two in five trans people (41 per cent) said healthcare staff lacked understanding of trans health needs. 
  • More than a third of trans students (36 per cent) in higher education have experienced negative comments or behaviour from staff in the last year. 

Scotland is currently conducting its own consultation into reform of the act. The UK Government is due to launch a consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act this year. 

Today Stonewall has released a series of short films that explore the daily reality of trans people, and why reform is so desperately needed. You can find these films at

Stonewall is also calling for everyone to take a visible stand against anti-trans discrimination where they find it. People can:

  • Join Stonewall’s ‘Come Out for Trans Equality’ campaign to show their support for trans people, especially on social media. Encourage friends, family and colleagues to join the campaign:
  • Call out anti-trans abuse whenever they see it, so long as it is safe to do so. Supporting those being targeted lets them know they have allies.
  • Let local business owners know if they witness an anti-trans incident from staff or other customers so they can tackle it. Make clear that they could risk losing customers if they don’t.
  • Respond to the public consultation to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 when it launches this year. A separate consultation is taking place in Scotland and was launched in November last year.

To find out more, visit

Colin Macfarlane Director Stonewall Scotland said:

‘This report exposes the devastating levels of discrimination and abuse that many trans people are subject to across all areas of their lives. It’s shameful that in Britain everyday activities like going to a café, having a peaceful day at work or accessing decent healthcare are made impossible for people simply because of who they are.

As we campaign for a fairer Gender Recognition Act we have seen much of the public discussion descend into vile, distorted and cruelly targeted transphobia. This report shows that this kind of commentary is not without consequence – it has a real and profoundly negative impact on the real-life experiences of trans people.

The Scottish Government’s consultation on reform of the Gender Recognition Act is a critical first step in ensuring trans people are properly recognised and treated with respect. That’s why one of the most important things that individuals can do is respond to the consultation, and show their support for fairer laws for trans people.

If reading this report makes you angry and upset, then join us. It’s up to all of us to stand up as allies to trans people, and make discriminating people because they are trans as unacceptable as it is to target someone because of their race or their religion.’



‘We are constantly questioned on our existence, treated hostilely and ridiculed in the name of debate.  We are constantly exposed to hate and criticism in the media and daily life as the public respond to the media’s attitudes.  I’m sick of being described as a mentally ill freak.’ Esme, 32 (Scotland)

‘I was raped. Police kept referring to me as 'she' and 'female' and using my birth name. The doctor they brought to examine me, made me uncomfortable and continued calling me female.’ Angus, 24 (Scotland)

‘I get shouted at every single time I leave my house and threatened at least once a week. I try to closet myself from my family because I’m so close to getting kicked out. I can’t access hormone replacement therapy without going private. I’m disabled. It’s a lot to deal with and I’m crumbling under the stress but I consider myself a warrior. But really, something needs to change.’ Stevie, 21 (Wales)

‘Even just five years ago it was not safe for me to come out as trans, the pace of change has been amazing. Unfortunately, there now appears to be a backlash against that progress in the last year with hate from the media against trans increasing disturbingly in the last six months. This increasing transphobia is accelerating and is causing acute anxiety in my daily life.’ Willow, 40 (Wales)

‘I have recently started at a new university. I was laughed at, ridiculed, and became the butt of jokes that normally gender me as a woman. This has been constant since day one.’ Taylor, 23 (South East)

‘The waiting lists are excruciatingly long on the NHS to the point I feel I'm not mentally strong enough to wait this long, and hormones/surgery are incredibly difficult to get hold of but are something that will greatly improve my mental wellbeing.’ Dominic, 24 (North West)


Show support on social media #ComeOutForTrans