Young transgender people in Scotland have reported the lowest level of happiness in a decade, a charity’s survey has revealed amid what it calls an “unacceptable” level of intolerance.

A report by LGBT Youth Scotland showed happiness among the young transgender community has halved from 2012 until 2022, from 59% to 28%.

The charity, which surveyed more than 1,200 Scots aged between 13 and 25, highlighted 40% felt unsafe using public transport, while one in five had left education because of transphobia.

It comes after a number of high-profile politicians urged the Scottish Government to suspend the use of puberty blockers and hormones after the Cass Review into children’s gender care in England found “unclear” evidence into the treatment.

Former SNP minister turned Alba MSP, Ash Regan, has written to First Minister Humza Yousaf urging him to enact the recommendations of the Cass Review in Scotland.

However, Dr Mhairi Crawford, chief executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said transgender young people need more “safeguards” to protect their wellbeing.

The survey also found 72% of participants viewed transphobia as a major issue, while others reported feeling compelled to change their appearance while in public for a “sense of security”.

Dr Crawford said: “Unfortunately, the findings of this report don’t come as a surprise to a lot of us deeply involved with LGBTQ+ young people.

“This report makes a clear and compelling case for immediate action to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of trans young people in Scotland.

“We have long needed protection and support for trans young people in Scotland and calls for this have fallen on death ears; we need a change now to ensure we are creating a better future for our young people.”

She said young trans people in Scotland were “navigating a world where they felt unsafe”, adding “This situation is unacceptable and cannot be allowed to continue as the norm.”

But Ms Regan has joined SNP MP Joanna Cherry and Scottish Tories deputy leader Meghan Gallacher in calling for the Scottish Government to review access to puberty blockers.

Ash Regan joins Alba Party
Ash Regan has called for the Scottish Government to review access to puberty blockers (Andrew Milligan/PA)

In a letter to the First Minister, Ms Regan said: “If you agree with me that the health and wellbeing of all Scottish children deserve this Government’s utmost care and attention, then I call on you to act now and suspend the use of puberty blockers.

“Families and our public bodies need a clear statement from your Government on an interim pause on the affirmation model, gender promotion for children and the medicalisation of gender-questioning children under the Scottish Government has reviewed the final report of the Cass review.”

Following the Cass review, the Scottish Government said it recognised the “increasingly toxic, ideological and polarised debate” surrounding the trans discussion.

Ministers have also said they will “take time” to consider the findings of the report.

SNP MP Ms Cherry also urged Scotland’s chief medical officer, Gregor Smith, to intervene on the guidelines, arguing the current strategies were “clearly no longer acceptable and must be urgently reviewed”.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The First Minister has received the letter, and a reply will be issued in due course.

“The Scottish Government has been consistently clear that the Cass Review’s final report and findings will be closely considered by both the Scottish Government and health boards, in the context of how such healthcare can be best delivered in Scotland.

“It is already supporting NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and NHS National Services Scotland to consider how to provide specialist young people’s gender care.

“The Scottish Government agrees with Dr Hilary Cass when she highlights that increasingly toxic, ideological and polarised public debate does nothing to serve the young people accessing this care, their families and the NHS staff working hard to care for them.”

Emma Roddick, minister for equalities, migration and refugees, said: “Trans people continue to suffer poorer outcomes relative to the wider population, and this needs to change.

“We recognise that more action is needed to support trans and non-binary young people. This is why we are providing funding of over £1.1 million to organisations working to promote LGBTQI+ equality in Scotland in 2024-25.

“We are also developing proposals for introducing a Bill on ending conversion practices for both sexual orientation and gender identity, have developed a non-binary equality action plan to improve equality and wellbeing for non-binary people, and published a new hate crime strategy for Scotland.”