According to a newly-released survey by Trans Actual, nearly all trans people in the UK believe that transition-related healthcare provided by the NHS is inadequate, with an additional 45% of trans respondents saying that their GP did not have a good understanding of their needs as a trans person. The Trans Lives Survey 2021 was conducted to learn about the scale and impact of issues affecting trans people, with a particular focus on healthcare.
40% of all respondents felt that the lack of access to gender-affirming healthcare impacted them “very much”, while 47% said the current healthcare system is “not at all” adequate. People of colour were more likely (13%) to experience transphobia from trans-specific healthcare providers compared to white respondents (6%), with a further 53% of BPOC respondents saying that they had experienced racism from healthcare professionals.
As well as detailing the healthcare inequalities trans people are facing, the study found that 85% of trans women had faced transphobic harassment in the street, alongside 71% of trans men and 73% of non-binary people. Nearly all respondents said they had experienced transphobia on social media, while 93% said that media-induced transphobia had impacted their experiences of public transphobia.
Chay Brown, director of TransActual, described the findings as “shocking” yet “unexpected”, adding: “They merely put figures to a perilous situation that almost every trans person in the UK is well aware of.” Jane Fae, chair of Trans Media Watch, hopes the report will provide “food for thought” as it highlights the negative effects of transphobia: “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 policymakers and employers.”