Young trans adults in the UK are the main victims of abuse

According to research conducted by Just Like Us, an LGBTQ+ youth charity, trans people in the UK are the main target of LGBTQIA+ abuse. 

The research, conducted in January 2023, looked at the stories of LGBTQIA+ young adults in the UK, assessing their well-being during their time at school or in the workplace, and involved 3,695 adults aged 18-25. Just Like Us found that 61% of these young adults were recipients of verbal abuse. The number is higher for members of the trans and non-binary (70%) and asexual (68%) communities.

The research also shows that one in 10 (11%) of the young adults surveyed had experienced anti-LGBTQIA+ abuse in the past year. Physical abuse is similar for LGBTQIA+ (25%) and non-LGBTQIA+ (24%). Again, the number is higher for some identities: lesbians (30%), gay men (31%) and asexual people (32%).

LGBTQIA+ people were more likely than their non-LGBTQIA+ counterparts to report physical abuse of a sexual nature: 50% compared to 30%. The research also shows that lesbians were most likely to be sexually abused (57%) and that asexual people were most likely to be domestically abused (44%).

Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, stated that:

“It is devastating that the majority of trans young people have experienced verbal abuse in the last year alone, and a sign of the often horrifically transphobic times we live in here in the UK. The levels of abuse experienced by LGBTQIA+ young adults are completely unacceptable. It is hard to believe that in 2023 LGBTQIA+ young people are still subject to verbal abuse and violence, and that anti-LGBTQIA+ attacks are so widespread that they are even directed at non-LGBTQIA+ young people. It is absolutely vital that we start taking LGBTQIA+ inclusion seriously and that schools across the UK deliver positive messages about LGBTQIA+ identities to young people otherwise I fear these numbers will only increase. A great starting point for schools across the UK is to sign up for School Diversity Week so that teachers can access our free, easy-to-use resources and let all their pupils know that being LGBTQIA+ is something to be celebrated and proud of.”

After the stop of the Scottish law on self-determination for transgender people and the introduction of new bans against reparative therapies, Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, would like to introduce a new law that would distinguish cisgender women from transgender women. The aim is to reduce possible confusion in public spaces, but the result is, once again, a low blow to the trans community. This distinction would include, amongst others, specific hospital wards only for ‘biological women’ and greater ‘safety and justice’ in sporting environments, with the possibility of excluding trans women athletes from competitions or matches.

Sunak himself has also recently declared that minors of 16 or 17 years of age should not be allowed to choose their gender identity independently, and therefore legally, suggesting to his own party members to abstain on the subject.

And in Italy and Spain? It would be interesting to know the percentages here too, so as to understand how much the D&I’s painstaking (and not always silent) mission is bearing fruit. 

Giorgio Galluzzo, Business Development Executive

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