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Blog: Attitudes to Transgender People in Northern Ireland. The Importance of Survey Data

The Northern Ireland Life and Times survey asked questions to gauge public attitudes towards trans people. Dr Gail Neil from Ulster University and Dr Siobhan McAlister from Queen's explore the survey's findings and their significance.

Since the introduction of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) in England and Wales (2004), fewer people than anticipated have come forward to have their acquired gender legally recognised. The current process considered ‘bureaucratic, expensive and intrusive’ was felt in need of updating. The subsequent public consultation, during the latter half of 2018, around proposed reforms to the GRA, alongside increased news coverage, entertainment storylines and celebrity culture, brought transgender individuals and issues of gender identity into the media spotlight and public consciousness in unprecedented ways.

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