Transphobic hate crime is on the rise. Between 2015 and 2020, reports of transphobic hate crime quadrupled.
In 2020, four out of five respondents to research conducted by Galop, the UK’s only LGBT+ anti-violence charity, experienced a form of transphobic hate crime.
According to the same research, seven in ten respondents said that transphobia had had an impact on their mental health, and nearly seven in ten said that their daily routine has been affected by transphobia. Three in ten said they had experienced transphobia at work.
Take a minute to let those statistics sink in. They show the reality of what it means to be a trans person living in the UK.
The reality vs the narrative
Glimpses of this reality are incredibly valuable. We live in a day and age where echo chambers of social media, media narratives and the endemic spreading of misinformation mean new, false ‘realities’ are created every day, and we must recourse to the facts whenever we can.
Despite clear data to show that the majority of people don’t like transphobia, with half (49%) believing that prejudice against trans people is always wrong, the UK is in the midst of a so-called culture war around trans rights. Media, high-profile figures and policy wonks are whipping up debate on issues ranging from equal access to public facilities for trans people and access to healthcare for trans young people, to the use of pronouns in social media profiles.
At the centre of this storm is a group of people who are just human beings, trying to live in the gender with which they identify, as they are permitted to do under UK law. They don’t have an agenda. Let’s not be gaslit into believing that they do. Let’s focus instead on the discrimination and violence this marginalised group face, and do what we can to challenge it.
We must stand firm with trans and non-binary people
Save the Children UK have just introduced our first Trans Inclusion policy. This policy sets out a clear commitment to trans (including non-binary) equality, rejecting infringements on the rights of trans and non-binary people and putting clear provision in place to support trans and non-binary staff members to live authentically at work, including support to help them transition should they need it.
I’m delighted that this robust policy has been introduced. I’m sorry it was not written sooner.
If there are any trans or non-binary people reading this, please know: if you ever consider working for Save the Children UK, you will be welcomed here, you will be supported, and we will stand alongside you.