Most Brits think trans women should be housed in women’s prisons, not men’s

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A poll has found that a majority of British people think that trans women who go to prison should be housed in women’s facilities.

The survey, commissioned by the Huffington Post UK and conducted by YouGov showed that 68 percent of British people think a trans woman should go to a women’s prison.

The poll was commissioned after the deaths of two trans women in UK prisons, who were sent to all-male facilities.

Tara Hudson1

Tara Hudson was sent to an all-male prison

A majority, 67 percent, said they were comfortable sharing toilet facilities with trans people.

This comes in contrast to the US, where a poll last year found that 59 percent of respondents thought trans people should only use bathrooms which correspond with the gender they were assigned at birth.

The poll also found that 69 percent of Brits would support their child if they came out as trans, with just 10% saying they would refuse to support them.

However, only 25 percent would be happy, as opposed to supportive, if their child was transgender, and 39 percent said they would be unhappy.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, who told HuffPost UK: “These findings point to shifting attitudes – I’m very happy to see that the majority of the United Kingdom population agree with me that transgender women should be housed in a female prison. It’s sad that it has taken the death of two women for the Government to take action.”

Paul Twocock, Stonewall’s Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, told Huffington Post: “While it’s encouraging to see an increase in trans visibility and allies to the trans movement – there is still so much left to do until all trans people are accepted without exception and are treated equally. Until figures like those in this survey are at 100%, our work will continue.”

The poll was released today to coincide with the launch of TransBritain, a special series on The Huffington Post UK to mark 2015 as a landmark year for trans visibility and rights.

The series aims to celebrate the heroes fighting for transgender equality in Britain, and will look into the key areas of British life, including health, politics and prisons, that are shaping a new era for gender.

Ireland recently adopted a revolutionary system that makes changing legal gender as simple as renewing a passport.

Bath woman Tara Hudson was jailed for 12 weeks earlier this year over an assault – but she was sent to the all-male HMP Bristol despite having lived as a woman for years.

Ms Hudson was sent to the prison as she never went through the bureaucratic process to get a gender recognition certificate – though after a public pressure campaign that saw 150,000 people petition, she was moved to a female facility.

Ms Hudson, who was released at the beginning of this month, revealed to the Western Daily Press that she was strip searched by male guards, forced to flash her breasts to male inmates, and lived in constant fear of rape.

She told the newspaper that “more people will kill themselves if changes aren’t made” – after the deaths of two other trans prisoners who were also kept in male prisons.

Inquests have open into the successive deaths of Vikki Thompson at HMP Leeds, and Joanne Latham at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes.

Ms Hudson added: “Transgender rights are 20 years behind gay rights. It is something that is only starting to come into the spotlight now.

“I will do whatever I can to get this law changed. I can’t not.”