Trans happiness falls by over 50 per cent in a decade in Scotland

A hooded person walks past a brick wall with a trans flag around their back.

Growing up as a trans person in Scotland isn’t what it used to be, according to an eye-opening report into the happiness of trans youth.

A survey of over 1,200 LGBTQ+ young people aged 13-25 year olds in the region found that general happiness among trans people has dropped by a whopping 50 per cent in a decade.

Participants were asked “How happy do you feel with your life as an LGBTQ+ young person in Scotland?” The percentage of trans respondents feeling “Happy” or “Very happy” dropped from 59 per cent in 2012 to just 28 per cent in 2022.

The report also found that just one in three trans people (31 per cent) felt their home town was a safe enough space to socialise in.

The findings come as part of a report by LGBT Youth Scotland, a nonprofit charity dedicated to improving the lives of queer youth in Scotland.

As well as sharing eye-opening statistics as part of their survey results, the report also makes “a range of recommendations” to address the systemic and societal issues that trans people face.

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Those problems include issues that stem from “the lack of full societal acceptance,” as one young survey respondent put it.

“I am very proud of who I am to be part of they LGBTQ+ community,” they said. “But it does come at the cost of feeling safe in public.”

Activists holding signs of trans liberation during a protest.
Activists holding signs of trans liberation during a protest. (Getty)

Hate crimes against trans people have been slowly on the rise in Scotland according to a hate crime report from the Crown Office, with at least 55 reports made in 2022-23. A further 86 reports were made in 2021-22.

According LGBT Youth Scotland, just 12 per cent of Scottish trans youth would feel safe reporting a hate crime to the police.

The nonprofit’s chief executive, Dr Mhairi Crawford, said that the results were “unfortunately” not a surprise to those “deeply involved with LGBTQ+ young people.”

“This report makes a clear and compelling case for immediate action to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of trans young people in Scotland,” Crawford said in a statement.

“We urged the Scottish Government and other public bodies to take this report seriously. We have long needed protection and support for trans young people in Scotland and calls for this have fallen on deaf ears.

“We need a change now to ensure we are creating a better future for our young people.”

Scotland's flag with an LGBTQ+ symbol in the forefront
Recorded LGBTQ+ hate crimes have increased in Scotland. (Getty)

Among its recommendations is guidance to police services to undertake “impact reviews” to better understand how to protect trans people and for Police Scotland to make an official apology for historic homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia.

It also makes recommendations for the NHS, urging it to update national guidance to ensure all patients who are on the increasingly long waiting lists receive a “clear timeline” for treatment.

The report estimates the current waiting time to be anywhere between two to five years.