Transgender people face violence at work

Workplace abuse web

A study by Stonewall has shown the extent of discrimination faced by trans people

19th January 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

The shocking levels of discrimination and violence that transgender people face has been revealed.

A study by Stonewall has found that one in eight trans employees have been physically attacked by a colleague or customer.

More than half of those (51%) who took part in the survey – which questioned 871 transgender and non binary people in the UK – said they had hidden their identity at work in an attempt to prevent discrimination.

“This report exposes the devastating levels of discrimination and abuse that many trans people are subject to across all areas of their lives,” said Stonewall Scotland director Colin Macfarlane.

“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 study found that 48% of those questioned do not feel comfortable using public toilets, a third (34%) have been discriminated against while out for dinner or a drink and a quarter suffered prejudice while looking to buy or rent a property.

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

Macfarlane added: “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.”

“I’m sick of being described as mentally ill…”

“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

“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

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