Jack Rowe for GAY TIMES

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) has launched a community-led investigation, Trans+ Voices, to understand the experience of trans+ people ahead of the next general election.

In recent years, the so-called ‘trans debate’ has become increasingly prominent in both the media and within political discourse, with Rishi Sunak – the Prime Minister – recently making a “joke” at the community’s expense in the House of Commons while Brianna Ghey’s mother was in the chamber.

“For the Prime Minister to use trans people as a punchline, in front of the grieving mother of a murdered trans child, was cheap, callous and crass,” a statement from Stonewall said at the time.

“The disrespect and dehumanisation of trans people that we see played out daily in the media and in our political discourse has real life consequences and it has to stop.”

Hate crimes against trans+ people were also found to have risen by 11 per cent between 2022 and 2023, according to Home Office data.

“Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offences, or more awareness in the police in the identification and recording of these crimes,” the report, published in October last year, said.

In response to the current climate trans+ people are living in, TBIJ wants to hear from and work directly with members of the community to understand the impact anti-trans rhetoric is having in the UK.

Approximately 93 per cent of trans+ people surveyed by TransActual in 2021 reported that transphobic commentary in the media impacted how strangers interacted with them, whilst 85 per cent said it affected the relationship with their family. A startling 70 per cent felt that media transphobia negatively impacted their mental health.

A secondary part of TBIJ’s work will be to understand how dark money and influence groups contribute to these conversations.

Trans+ Voices will commence with a series of listening events across the UK in partnership with trans-led organisations.

Locations of interest have been identified based on where there has been a sharp increase in reported hate crimes towards trans+ people and areas where rates are low, which TBIJ has suggested could be attributed to a victim’s reluctance to report the incident.

Key areas of focus will include Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Gwent and Leeds. These are areas of the UK where hate crimes against trans+ people have risen most significantly.

TBIJ would also like to speak to people in Northamptonshire, which has one of the lowest rates of reported hate crimes against trans+ people.

If you would like to contribute to the project, then please get in touch directly with TBIJ at the following email address transvoices@tbij.com.

The team is hoping to share its work throughout the year.