The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has launched a ground-breaking report ‘Being Trans in the European Union‘. The report points to how trans people experience frequent discrimination and harassment, and draws upon the responses to FRA’s wider EU LGBT survey.
Becky Kent, Scottish Transgender Alliance Research Associate has examined the report and has pulled out the information related to the experiences of trans people in the UK. We welcome the report as it is the most comprehensive report of trans experiences in Europe published to date. More than 800 trans people from the UK were among the survey’s 6,579 trans respondents, giving us a good view of the current status of trans people in the UK.
The survey’s most striking result is the high level of repetitive violence and hate-motivated crime trans persons suffer.
The report highlights the serious problem that still remains for trans people experiencing hate-motivated crimes and harassment. 12% of UK trans people have experienced hate-motivated violence and crime in the 12 months preceding the survey as compared to the EU average of only 8%, and 37% of the UK respondents faced hate-motivated harassment in the 12 months preceding the survey.
Sadly, the UK trails only Ireland and Lithuania in the rate of hate-motivated violence and crime suffered by trans people, and is significantly worse than the European average. This shows that we still have a long way to go in making the UK a consistently safe place for trans people to live and work.
The report also looked at trans people’s experiences in employment, education and when accessing health care.
In health care 53% of trans people feel they can be open about being trans to their health care providers which is significantly better that the EU average of 35%. 96% are also aware that gender reassignment services are available. On the down side 26% report being discriminated against when accessing health care in the previous 12 months.
In schools, 47% report that the atmosphere in their school or university is negative toward LGBT people and 22% report being discriminated against for being trans in the previous 12 months. In employment 40% of the trans respondents in the UK report being discriminated against when seeking work in the previous year and another 31% have been discriminated against on the job during the previous 5 years.
These figures continue to show that there needs to be improvement in awareness and understanding of trans people throughout UK society. It is especially disappointing to see that these results point to schools remaining an unwelcome place for LGBT people. A closer look at the report also shows that these problems are significantly greater for those people who have a non-binary gender identity. We need to work harder to help society to understand and accept those who identify as neither male nor female.
We have recently launched the Equal Recognition campaign in which we are calling for legal recognition non-binary people who do not identify as either male or female. We see this as an important step in improving the experiences of non-binary people in Scotland.