Three quarters (74 per cent) of young adults who say they are not supportive of trans people don’t actually know a trans person, according to new research by Just Like Us, the LGBTQ+ young people’s charity.
It was also found that those who knew someone trans were twice as likely to be allies of the community, with just 33 per cent of those who do not know a trans person describing themselves as “very supportive” of trans people.
This was in stark contrast to 64 per cent of people who do know a trans person, whether they are close to them or not.
Only three per cent of those who know a trans person said they are “not supportive” at all.
On the whole, 89 per cent of young LGBTQ+ adults were either “supportive” or “very supportive” of trans people, compared with 69 per cent of their non-LGBTQ+ counterparts.
Of the LGBTQ+ people surveyed who did not identify as trans and/or non-binary, lesbians were the most likely to say they know a trans person (92 per cent), as well as being the most likely to be “supportive” or “very supportive” of them (96 per cent).
Amy Ashenden, interim CEO of Just Like Us, said: “We hear so much in the news and daily life now that is negative about trans people, and now the research shows that much of this negativity stems from not even knowing a trans person in real life.
“There is fear in the unknown and we need LGBT+ inclusive education in schools to remove the shame and stigma. Unfortunately, because trans people only make up 0.5% of the population in England and Wales, not many people actually know a trans person in real life and then they see fear mongering in the press or on social media and worry about something that is unknown to them. We desperately need better education so future generations don’t write off an entire community based on fears of the unknown.”
The data is part of a wider report from Just Like Us called Positive Futures, which will be published on 1 June.
A total of 3,695 adults aged 18 to 25 were surveyed as part of the above study.