Half of all trans Australians experience hate, study finds

People walk down the street during a Pride march with signs reading "trans joy is beautiful" and "protect trans youth"

New research shows that almost half of all trans people in Australia have experienced hate – online or in person – in the past year. 

The Fuelling Hate report, compiled by the Trans Justice Project and the Victoria Pride Lobby, found that an alarming proportion of trans people in the country have been the victims of hate, harassment, abuse and physical violence. 

Conducted between 17 and 25 April, the survey revealed that 49 per cent of trans respondents had experienced online anti-trans hate in the past year.

Almost 48 per cent of trans people said they experienced hate in person, including abuse or harassment, in the same time period, with 24 per cent saying they had experienced an increase in hate in the past two months.

On average, one in every six trans people who replied had experienced physical violence in the past year. 

The report also found that even if trans people hadn’t experienced hate online personally, almost all (94 per cent) had seen some form of anti-trans hate online in the past year.

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A person holds up a sign reading "trans rights are human rights" at a Pride parade in Portland, Oregon in 2019
Almost everyone who responded has seen a form of anti-trans hate online in the past 12 months. (Icon Sportswire/Getty Images)

According to the report’s authors, it is the largest-ever investigation of its kind in Australia, with more than 3,099 responses recorded, including replies from 1,309 people in the trans community.

The report claimed there was a correlation between anti-trans rhetoric and a rise in anti-trans hate, with a particular nod to British anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen and her rally in Melbourne in March.

The authors said a rise in anti-trans hate in the two months preceding the study coincided with the rally, which was attended by neo-Nazis.

“Trans people deserve to thrive, to feel safe in our communities and have the freedom to be ourselves.” said Jackie Turner, the director of the Trans Justice Project. “But right now our lives are under attack.

“We are urging federal and state governments across the country to take decisive action to curb extremism and protect our communities from hate.

“We know that the majority of Australians support trans and gender-diverse people having the same rights and protections as everyone else. These attacks are largely coming from a fringe, but very vocal, group.”

Austin Fabrey-Jenkins, from the Victorian Pride Lobby, added that the two organisations are calling on the Victorian government to fast-track its planned anti-vilification laws in light of the report, adding that the trans community is crying out for more support.

“Next year is too late. Anti-trans hate groups are more brazen than they have ever been and our communities are bearing the impact,” Fabrey-Jenkins said.

In England and Wales, it was reported that hate crimes hit a new record high in 2022, with figures from the Home Office revealing that transphobic hate crimes had gone up by 56 per cent. 

Home Office statistician John Flatley said the increase is partly due to “significant improvements” in recording and defining hate crimes. However, some people blamed the rise on the increase in hateful rhetoric seen in the media and political campaigns across the country. 

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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