Trans lives survey 2021: Enduring the UK’s hostile environment

TransActual’s Trans lives survey 2021: Enduring the UK’s hostile environment presents the findings from the TransActual Community Voice Survey. This survey of British trans people conducted by TransActual, a trans-led organisation empowering and advocating for trans people across the UK, was conducted in 2021 to learn more about the scale and impact of the issues trans people face in the UK.

Our findings represent a disturbing but unsurprising picture of a community thriving in hard conditions, and due to generally poor and inappropriate collection of official data on trans people, this survey report is a huge step forward in our understanding and evidencing of intersectional anti-trans discrimination in the UK.

Content warning: the report and the findings detailed below make reference to transphobia, racism and ableism.

Key findings

Daily life

  • 40% of respondents reported having experienced transphobia when seeking housing.
  • 63% of respondents reported experiencing transphobia while seeking employment, rising to 73% of BPOC respondents.
  • 85% of trans women reported being subjected to transphobic street harassment from strangers, with 71% of trans men and 73% of non-binary people saying the same.
  • 69% of Black people and people of colour (BPOC) respondents reported experiencing transphobia from their line manager at work, and reported consistently higher rates of experiencing transphobia from colleagues (88% compared to 73% of non-BPOC)
  • 80% of non-binary people reported having experienced transphobia from colleagues compared to 73% of trans men and 73% of trans women saying the same.
  • 99% of trans people surveyed have experienced transphobia on social media.
  • 93% of participants reported that media transphobia had impacted their experiences of transphobia from strangers on the street.


  • 14% reported that they were refused GP care on account of being trans on at least one occasion.
  • When accessing general healthcare services, 70% or respondents reported being impacted by transphobia.
  • 57% of trans people reported avoiding going to the doctor when unwell.
  • 98% of respondents described the transition-related healthcare available on the NHS as not completely adequate, with 47% responding that it is “not at all” adequate. A greater proportion of disabled trans people reported inadequacy of service.
  • 53% of Black people and people of colour (BPOC) reported experiencing racism while accessing trans-specific healthcare services.
  • BPOC respondents also experienced transphobia from trans-specific healthcare providers at more than double the rate of white respondents (13% compared to 6%).
  • 60% of disabled respondents reported experiencing ableism when accessing trans-specific healthcare.
  • Trans people with disabilities are more likely to experience delays, with 93% having done so compared to 85% of non-disabled people.
  • 40% of respondents felt that lack of access to NHS transition related care has impacted them ‘very much’, with just 12% of respondents saying it had not impacted them at all.
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