Posted on 12. October 2016 in Campaigns & Advocacy Materials


The Special Eurobarometer on Discrimination 2015 inquires into attitudes on discrimination and social acceptance of certain social group, icnluding towards trans people.
The surveys are based on in-depth thematic studies carried out for the European Commission.
In each member state approximately 1000 face-to-face interviews were conducted.

TGEU extracted key questions concerning attitudes towards trans people in the European Union.

What do people in the EU think about trans people?


  • Discrimination: 56% think that discrimination on the grounds of gender identity is widespread in their country.
  • Acceptance: 53% would be comfortable with a trans head of state. In 2012, only 43% thought so.
  • Work: 67% said they would be comfortable with a colleague at work who is transgender or transsexual.
  • Social proximity: On the other hand, 38% would not comfortable if their son or daughter had a relationship with a trans person.
  • Schools: 65% think that information about trans people should be included in school lessons and materials.
  • Diversity: 33% believe more should be done to promote diversity when it comes to gender identity.
  • Legal Gender Recognition: More than six in ten respondents (63%) believe that trans people should be able to change their civil documents to match their inner gender identity.

Overall, attitudes towards trans people improved between 2012 and 2015. Fewer people have no opinion on trans people and their rights. Particularly, the newly introduced question on Legal Gender Recognition shows that there is great support (63%) for trans people’s right to change documents. However, there are still considerable variations in attitudes towards trans people among EU member states.

The socio-demographic analysis shows consistent patterns: women, young people, those with a higher education, and/ or those who self-identify as belonging to a minority are more likely to have a positive stance on trans people and their rights. Alternatively, men, elderly people, those who left education early, and/ or those who do not identify or have acquaintances or friends who belong to a minority tend to be more critical.

Equality legislation needs to be implemented independent from popular opinion. However, the Eurobarometer 2015 shows that public attitude favours advancing equality for trans people.



Download “Attitudes towards trans people in the European Union”

Download the full Special Eurobarometer 437 “Discrimination in the EU in 2015”