As trans activists and allies prepare for further protests to protect trans rights in the UK, a promising new survey by YouGov and PinkNews has revealed the majority of women support trans people’s right to self-identify. The findings show 57% of women "agreed that trans people should be able to self-identify as their chosen gender," compared to 43% of the men surveyed.
"Transgender and non-binary people know that we are who we say we are,” says PinkNews‘ gender and identity reporter Vic Parsons of the survey. “Public support for self-identification doesn’t change this – but it is still somewhat of a relief, given the horrifying levels of anti-trans rhetoric in the media."
The survey also found that 50% of the UK population "were in favour of trans people self-identifying," compared with just 27% who said they were against. Meanwhile, 23% of respondents were unsure about whether they were in favour of trans people being able to self-identify.
Only July 4 thousands of people headed to London's Parliament Square to protest against the government’s alleged abandonment of reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. The Sunday Times reported that a leaked document indicates the government is set to scrap reforms planned for the Gender Recognition Act (GRA).
As detailed in Bustle, the reforms would have enabled people to change their birth certificate without the difficulties and trauma associated with medical diagnoses. It would have also meant moving away from a system that classifies those who identify as trans as having a mental illness.
The revelation is a huge blow to the UK's trans community, but there are ways you can help them at this time from petitioning to donating to trans charities.
The statistics are heartening after a particularly challenging few weeks for trans people, with transphobic comments from JK Rowling making headline news. On June 7, the Harry Potter author sent the internet into a tailspin when she tweeted, “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
"When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman — and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones — then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth," she wrote.
While Rowling believes that "new trans activism" is a threat to women's rights, the YouGov survey would suggest that the majority of women do not share her views.