Facts About Trans Lives

1. Trans people have always been around.

We’re often overlooked or erased in history and language has changed, but there are countless examples of trans people throughout history.

Read more: https://www.autostraddle.com/10-lesser-known-trans-women-pioneers-from-history-316582/

2. Non-binary people have always existed.

You might not have heard the word “non-binary” until recently, but cultures around the world have long recognised that there are more than two genders.

Read more: https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/content/two-spirits_map-html/

3. Trans adults started off as trans children.

It goes without saying that all trans adults started off as children. The Metro Youth Chances Report (2014) found that 2 in 5 trans young people (aged 16-25) realised that they were trans when they were age 11 or under. One major difference today in comparison to 20 years ago is that there are more openly trans people, meaning that trans children and young people realise that they aren’t alone in their feelings.

Read more: https://metrocharity.org.uk/

4. Trans people face high levels of harassment and discrimination.

Despite improved acceptance of trans people in society, trans people still face high levels of harassment and discrimination. 51% of trans people have hidden their identity at work for fear of discrimination. Nearly 7 in 10 trans young people have been subjected to death threats at school.

Read more: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/lgbt-britain-trans-report

Read more: https://www.stonewall.org.uk/school-report-2017

5. There is a biological basis for gender identity.

Medical literature, including studies of trans and intersex people, shows that there is a biological basis for gender identity.

Read more: https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/position-statements/transgender-health

6. There is more to sex and gender than XX and XY chromosomes.

Sex is more complicated than your GCSE biology textbook would have you believe. This fact is borne out by the existence of intersex people. In fact, it’s incredibly complicated so do read the article below for more information.

Read more: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sex-redefined-the-idea-of-2-sexes-is-overly-simplistic1/

7. Trans people aren’t all attracted to women.

As is the case with the wider population, different trans people have different sexual or romantic orientations. Trans men can be straight, gay, bi, ace or identify their orientation in another way. Trans women can be straight, lesbian/gay, bi, ace or identify their orientation in a different way. Non-binary people can be attracted exclusively to men, women, non-binary people or they could be bi, ace or identify their orientation in another way too.

Read more: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/lou-sullivans-diaries-are-a-radical-testament-to-trans-happiness

8. Before 1971, trans people had some access to gender recognition.

Sir Ewan Forbes changed the sex on his birth certificate in the 1940s, announced his new name in the newspaper and legally married his wife. His cousin challenged the change for reasons of inheritance, but the judge ruled in Ewan’s favour. However, things changed in 1971 when April Ashley’s husband had their marriage annulled because he claimed that she was ‘a man’ because of being trans. Trans people in the UK were then left without access to gender recognition until the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act in 2004.

Read more: https://www.makingqueerhistory.com/articles/2016/12/20/sir-ewan-forbes-the-doctor

Read more: http://www.pfc.org.uk/caselaw/Corbett%20v%20Corbett.pdf

9. Trans people without a gender recognition certificate are able to access single-sex spaces and services.

The Equality Act (2010) protects trans people under the protected characteristic of “gender reassignment” from the start of social transition. This protection applies regardless of the age of the trans person, regardless of them being under medical supervision and regardless of what it says on their birth certificate. Under the act, trans men have the right to be treated the same as other man and have the right to access male only spaces and services. Similarly, trans women have the right to be treated the same as any other woman and have the right to access female only spaces and services. Non-binary people are protected under the “gender reassignment” characteristic of the Equality Act.

There is a legal basis for excluding trans people from single-sex spaces or services, however the law is clear in stating that these decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis and it must be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. It is worth noting that the legal bar for this is incredibly high. Find more information on the Equality Act (2010).

There is an exception when it comes to sports, please scroll down for more detailed information.

Read more: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents


10. Trans people’s right to self-determination is grounded in international best practice.

The OHCR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) states that it is international best practice to allow trans people self-determination with regards to gaining legal recognition. Many countries allow trans people to gain legal gender recognition by signing a statutory declaration. Trans people are able to access self-determination in countries including Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Ireland, India, Malta, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal and Uruguay. You can read more about trans people in the UK’s rights to legal gender recognition here.

Read more: https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Publications/LivingFreeAndEqual.pdf

11. Non-binary people’s access to legal gender recognition is grounded in international best practice.

The OHCR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) states that it is international best practice to allow non-binary people access to legal gender recognition. The following countries offer legal recognition to people who don’t identify as male or female (this includes non-binary people, but may also include people that identify in a different way): Austria, Iceland, India, Pakistan, Uruguay. Non-binary people are also offered legal recognition in some parts of Australia, Canada and USA. Read more about the rights of non-binary people in the UK.

Read more: https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Publications/LivingFreeAndEqual.pdf

12. There are very few trans people in UK prisons.

Despite facing disproportionate levels of discrimination and financial hardship, trans people in the UK are less likely to be in prison than the general population. The Ministry of Justice reports low numbers of trans prisoners, with trans people constituting an estimated 0.16% of the UK prison population.

Read more: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/863610/transgender-pf.pdf

13. Only one openly trans person has ever won an Olympic medal.

That person is Quinn, who plays football for the Canadian women’s team (and has done since before coming out as non-binary). They won a gold medal with the Canadian team in 2021 and had previously won a bronze medal.

No openly trans women have ever won an Olympic medal.

Trans people have been able to compete in the Olympics since 2004, when the International Olympic Committee first issued guidelines. Contrary to what some people might believe, trans people are not dominating international sport.

Read more: https://stillmed.olympic.org/Documents/Commissions_PDFfiles/Medical_commission/2015-11_ioc_consensus_meeting_on_sex_reassignment_and_hyperandrogenism-en.pdf

14. Most trans people are happy that they transitioned.

Most trans people are happy that they transitioned and 99% of trans people have no regrets about undergoing gender confirmation surgeries. A tiny minority of people do detransition and might do so for a number of reasons including family or societal rejection.

Read more: https://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=-qtlZDCMAZ4C&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Transgenderism+and+intersexuality+in+childhood+and+adolescence&ots=A5xWOLWIy7&sig=fLXP6sATZHxEQAmPW4t8WlRJVlg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Transgenderism%20and%20intersexuality%20in%20childhood%20and%20adolescence&f

15. It’s not hard to be trans inclusive.

Take a look at this All Gender Access Toolkit on inclusive toilets from our friends at Galop in collaboration with Good Night Out.

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