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Britain Is No Longer Considered A Safe Part Of The World For Trans People To Live In

19/10/2017 17:04 BST | Updated 20/10/2017 10:31 BST
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Britain is no longer considered a safe part of the world for trans people to live in.

We know from recent Stonewall research just how bad things are if you are trying to get on with your life as a trans person in Britain today. In the last twelve months, two in five trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident.

Every day, trans people continue to be mocked, excluded, bullied and attacked, simply for existing.

But now, other countries are openly agreeing that Britain is an unsafe place for trans people.

Last month, a tribunal in New Zealand granted asylum to a trans woman from Britain on the basis that her life would be in danger if she returned here.

It should be considered a national embarrassment that this is where we now are as a nation.

We simply cannot continue to call ourselves a world-leader in LGBT-inclusion, nor a beacon of equality for diverse communities.

Britain is at an absolute crisis point in how it treats trans people.

Many mainstream media voices - from newspaper columnists to social media commentators - seem to have stepped up a gear over recent months in their attempts to make vile transphobia acceptable, questioning the right of trans people to even exist. This isn't something that is open for debate. And giving the green light to these messages has devastating real-world consequences for trans people

Many trans people feel unable to be themselves because of this treatment, whether at work, using public transport or even just shopping for groceries.

The woman recently granted asylum in New Zealand told the courts that she would wait until after midnight to shop for her essentials in Britain. This was so she would be around as few people as possible, because she felt too afraid and unsafe to be herself in public.

Everyday transphobia in Britain filters down into our schools too.

Almost half of young trans people have attempted suicide, and yet just two in five of Britain's teachers condemn transphobic bullying.

This winter, we are set to go into a public consultation on reforming the Gender Recognition Act, which has the potential to transform the invasive and bureaucratic system that governs how trans people get legal recognition of their gender. Our nation is at a crossroads, and now more than ever, we need allies to do the right thing and make trans equality their responsibility too.

We all need to step up, be loud and visible in our support of the rights of trans people, whether that's on social media, in the work canteen or at our local supermarket.

We cannot allow Britain to continue to be an unsafe, unwelcoming and frightening place for trans people to live. The situation today is shameful. We need to work together to turn it around.

You can learn more about how to come out in support of the trans community on our website, and what elements of trans equality Stonewall is currently campaigning on, by visiting www.stonewall.org.uk/trans