Proud to be me: What it's like to be transgender in 2023

ITV News has been finding out what it means to be transgender in 2023. Credit: ITV News

According to new census data, more than 250,000 people in England and Wales identify as transgender, revealing the true picture of gender identity in Britain for the first time.

ITV News has been finding out what it means to be transgender in 2023.

For many, taking the journey to live as the gender they align with is difficult, as not all family and friends, or some in society, understand their decision to transition.

We've been speaking to a range of non-binary, gender diverse and trans people who have shared their story with us in the hope that the more people who are educated on the subject, the more acceptance there will be and the easier it will be for trans people to come out in the future.

According to a study released in March this year, a quarter of LGBT+ young adults have said they went back into the closet when they started work, according to new research by Just Like Us, the LGBT+ young people’s charity.

Transgender young adults were also the least likely to be employed, with 56% saying they did not have a job.

According to a Total Jobs survey, 65% of 400 trans employees were not at work.

The charity TransActual found that for those that were in work, one in four transgender people weren't open with their colleagues and bosses about it.

That number is even higher amongst non binary people, with two in five hiding their gender identity in the workplace.

As one of the country’s first openly trans paramedics, Steph Meech from Sussex is a specialist paramedic in urgent and emergency care but was nervous at first about coming out at her job.

Paramedic Steph Meech speaks to ITV News

Over her 20 year career, she’s been subjected to verbal and physical abuse, with some patients even refusing to be treated by her.

But by being her true self, and with the support of her colleagues, she says she can perform best at work.

Skye Morden has worked her way up to become one of the most senior police officers in the Midlands, yet she is targeted by bullies online because she is a trans woman.

In 2021, she won a Pride of Birmingham Award, recognising her bravery in speaking out and being a role model to others.

As a taser trainer and police officer, Skye morden is passionate about improving inclusivity in the workplace

More transgender people hide their identity at work now than they did five years ago, a new study has suggested.

It has igniting calls for employers to proactively develop policies and practices to ensure trans employees are protected and included at work.

From paramedics to police to business trainers, ITV News hears what it's like to be trans in today's workplace.

We’re an ageing population with unprecedented levels of loneliness, but for transgender people, growing old can be even more isolating.

Many have experienced losing the much-needed support of friends and family after transitioning.  

As well as a lack of acceptance within communities or care homes, some are concerned about the abilities of healthcare professionals to understand the needs of an older trans person.

Aison Stevens started transitioning at the beginning of 2015 and says it's the most wonderful thing he's ever done in his life

Jenny-Anne Bishop raised concerns with her parents at the age of six that she wasn't meant to be in a boy's body.

But she was told by her parents that she mustn't mention it again and so she went on to marry and have a family.

It wasn't until she was 59 when she was finally able to transition and ever since she's been supporting thousands of trans people who feel isolated.

Hear about what it's like to be trans as an older person

Swansea University and the University of Bristol co-led a study to better understand the health needs of trans adults over the age of 50 (funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust).

The study found that for some, post-gender affirming treatment brought a new ‘lease of life’, whilst others expressed regret about not seeking to transition earlier in life and a sense of running out of time as they were still pursuing gender affirming treatment in their 60s and 70s.

There are still unanswered questions about what later life will hold for the trans community, but as knowledge improves they hope so too will attitudes.

Who to contact if you or someone you know needs help:

  • Mind offer mental health support between 9am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 123 3393 or text them on 86463. There is also lots of information available on their website.

  • Samaritans operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year, by calling 116 123. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at

For further information on being LGBTQ+ or supporting someone who is:

  • Gender GP They support and provide information services to transgender, non-binary and gender

  • Gender Identity Clinic: The Gender Identity Clinic (GIC) is the largest and oldest gender clinic in the UK, dating back to 1966. Their helpline is 0208 938 7590.

  •  Just Like Us: Just Like Us is the LGBT+ charity for young people. You can call them on 0300 365 5002.

  • Switchboard LGBT+ HelplineSwitchboard provide an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people – and anyone considering issues around their sexuality and/or gender identity. Helpline: 0300 330 0630 (10-10 daily).