80% of Israelis: ‘difficult or impossible’ to accept a transgender child

About 80% of Israelis would find it “difficult or impossible” to accept that their child is transgender, according to a new survey released as part of this week’s Transgender Awareness Week.

The survey was initiated by the Israel Institute for Gender and LGBTQ Studies, part of the Association for LGBTQ Equality in Israel, and the Gila Project for the Empowerment of Transgender People. The survey itself was conducted by a company called Geocartography.

The survey also found that 67% of Israelis have no problem working alongside someone who is transgender; one in six Israelis knows someone transgender, and women tend to know more transgender people than men.

“The data we present to the public today is not encouraging at all,” said Gila Project Director Bar Awasker.

Awasker called on the government to identify and monitor gaps in government systems that harm people on the transgender spectrum. He said his organization was developing special training for medical teams and will try to develop other training programs for the private sector and the education system in order to improve the position and care of Israel’s transgender community.

Bar Awasker, CEO of Gila Project for Transgender Empowerment (credit: ELISHEVA GAVRA)

“There is no field where transgender people are not excluded or discriminated against,” said MK Naama Lazimi (Labor). “They suffer from hatred and violence, social hardships and family boycotts, which leave them far behind from a work point of view. They are exposed to harassment, poverty and discrimination, and they lack personal security that sometimes leads them to the circle of prostitution, sexual exploitation and suicide.
“State authorities accumulate difficulties and do not recognize the depth of the need to expand the options available to this vulnerable community,” Lazimi said. “We as a society must allow each person to live their life on the basis of their free choice, in a way that is available and accessible on the one hand, and safe, inclusive and equal on the other,” he said.

This week’s International Transgender Awareness Week (November 13-20) includes a series of events, conferences, and educational activities aimed at increasing awareness about the transgender community and its challenges among the general public.


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