A pride organiser has said that there is a lack of visibility of transgender inclusion in Oxford.

Speaking with this paper in light of Transgender Day of Visibility, Bicester Pride founder Christina Riley explained there are several issues faced by transgender people in Oxfordshire and the wider UK. 

She said: “I have lived in Oxfordshire all my life, for me - in Oxford - there is almost zero visibility of trans inclusion in the city. Over my lifetime, from when I was young in the 80s and 90s even to today, the visibility of the trans community is really quite under the radar.”

READ MORE: Woman's adenomyosis prevents her from having a relationship

The Government currently estimates there are between 200,000 and 500,000 people in the UK who are transgender, or around 1 per cent of the population.

Herald Series: Oxford Pride in 2019. Picture: Oxford Mail Archive Oxford Pride in 2019. Picture: Oxford Mail Archive

Ms Riley explained these figures mean a “significant number of people” in the community are “not recognised” or have visibility which is not “geared to support trans people”.

She said: “[Transgender Day of Visibility] is a great day to highlight the needs of the transgender community and that we are just ordinary people just living our lives. That is the important message to get out to people.”

Ms Riley, who came out in 2014, said the main issues for the transgender community are the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), which the Government is being consulted on, support for transgender people in the community, healthcare and the on-going abuse they face.

She explained: “We still have not had the result of that consultation so the trans community has been quite frustrated that it is still going on today, we feel the Government has not been very supportive for trans individuals.

“This, in turn, creates a lot of stress for people. There are quite long waiting lists for healthcare. It can take two years to just get a first appointment if you are suffering from gender dysphoria, so it is particularly stressful for young people.”

Ms Riley added that for young transgender people, a lack of healthcare support can also have knock-off negative impacts on their home and school lives. 

Herald Series: Ms Riley says access to health care is "worse" than when she came out. Picture: Ed Nix Ms Riley says access to health care is "worse" than when she came out. Picture: Ed Nix

The issue of accessing healthcare is “even worse now” than when she came out, Ms Riley says.

“There are so many hoops and loops to jump through these days and it can cause so much anxiety and stress. We know the suicide statistics for LGBT people, particularly trans people, are quite high. One of the reasons for that are the extremely long waits for getting basic treatment.

“All we want to do is live our lives without any interference, violence and abuse. It’s a basic human right,” she said.


Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

For news updates straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on news@nqo.com or 01865 425 445.