A new report has found that the U.K. is one of the most transphobic countries in the world. The results come from advocacy group Transgender Europe’s (TGEU) 2023 edition of the Trans Rights Map, which analyzes the policies impacting trans people across 49 countries in Europe and Central Asia on a color coded map. According to Them, the rankings use 30 indicators across six categories including legal gender recognition, asylum, hate speech/crime, non-discrimination, health, and family.
Out of thirty points, the U.K. received just 14.25. The highest ranking country, Iceland, received 26 points. Though the U.K. has a large population of LGBTQ+ citizens, it is still behind in legal rights, hasn’t made good on long-time promises, and continues to fall behind on the evolving rights in the realm of gender identity.
Nonbinary people and trans minors cannot change their official gender in the U.K.. And despite acquiring over 130,000 signatures, a petition to officially recognize nonbinary as a gender was rejected by Parliament. Though the Equality Act 2010 technically protects trans people from discrimination, it doesn’t change the fact that many still face it in the workplace, in health care settings and more.
In October, data released by the U.K. government showed transphobic hate crimes in England and Wales rose by 11 percent between March 2022 and 2023, an increase which can be partially credited to anti-trans politicians and rhetoric.
Other countries falling low in the ranks include Russia, Turkey, Hungary and Italy, and though some of these countries have more staunch political beliefs based on prejudiced religious thought, the U.K.’s regression comes as a surprise.
Research officer Freya Watkins at TGEU told Pink News “The United Kingdom and Hungary have gone backwards, from progressive leaders of our index in 2013 to places where anti-trans hatred is widespread in the media and government agendas.”
The U.K. is not the only country seeing an overwhelming increase in the amount of transphobic legislation and lawmakers, the U.S. has reached record highs in the amount of anti-trans bills proposed and passed over the last two years.
Other similar research, like the International Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association’s 2023 Rainbow Map rendered the same results with the U.K. falling down from 14th to 17th on the list of the most equitable countries for LGBTQ+ people.