Growing number of Brits view trans people negatively, YouGov study finds 

A trans activist wields a transgender flag at a Pride protest.

A YouGov poll on attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community has found that hostility towards trans people is growing at an alarming rate.

The research, published on Friday (11 August), found that 39 per cent of Brits “personally view” trans people in a positive light, with 33 per cent saying their feelings are neutral and four per cent saying they “don’t know”.

The remaining 25 per cent had negative feelings towards the community. This is up from 16 per cent in 2021, and follows YouGov research in 2022 which found that Britons had become less likely to support trans rights

In last year’s survey, almost half (49 per cent) said discrimination against trans people is a significant problem in society.

This shift in attitudes comes amid ever-increasing attacks on the community from politicians and the media.

Earlier this year, prime minister Rishi Sunak was heard mocking trans women in footage obtained by PinkNews.

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It followed his government taking a hardline stance against trans rights, blocking Scotland’s democratically passed Gender Recognition Act reforms and signalling plans to amend the Equality Act to remove protections for trans people.

Meanwhile, the opposition has shifted its own stance on trans rights, with Labour and the Conservatives now singing largely from the same hymn sheet and using trans rights as a “wedge issue”.

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The media has lapped this up gladly. Newspapers including the Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Guardian are notorious for platforming gender-critical and anti-trans rhetoric, while earlier this year Channel 4 faced criticism for a documentary, Gender Wars, which critics said added “fuel to the fire”.

YouGov’s research found that gay and lesbian Brits are more likely to think the public has a positive view of them

Over half of gay and lesbian people reported perceived positivity towards themselves (54 per cent), compared to 31 per cent of bisexual people and 14 per cent of trans people (the report did not consider intersectional identities).

The broader British public had a more positive view than the LGBTQ+ community expected.

More than half (54 per cent) of the British public hold positive views of gay and lesbian people, while 50 per cent feel the same about bisexuals. 

Four in 10 (39 per cent) said the same about trans people and a third or slightly more (33-39 per cent) said they have a neutral view of each group. 

The research also revealed that only seven per cent said they have a negative view of lesbian and gay people, with nine per cent having a negative view of bisexual Britons. 

YouGov surveyed a group of 1,023 LGBTQ+ Britons and 2,313 cis-straight adults between 30 May-17 June and 2-3 August, 2023.

When participants were asked what they thought the general public’s attitude towards trans people were, 51 per cent flagged thm as negative, up from 44 per cent in 2021, while two thirds of Britons with a negative view of transgender people said they thought the public feels the same way (66 per cent).

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Only eight per cent of cisgender gay, lesbian and bisexual Britons admitted to holding negative views of trans people, compared to 75 per cent who have a positive view and 17 per cent who have a neutral view.

Cisgender lesbians and bisexual women were found to have the most positive feelings towards trans people, with 84-85 per cent and 66-68 per cent feeling “very positive”. 

In July 2023, a survey of 969 LGBTQ+ Brits published by YouGov found that just three per cent use the trans-exclusive acronym LGB when referring to the community.

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