If the European LGBT rights map compiled by ILGA (rainbow-europe.org) obtained its deserved visibility, the data on trans people in Europe synthesized by Transgender Europe (TGEU; tgeu.org) were a bit neglected, despite their great importance. TGEU, with the help of ILGA, examined whether the legal systems of each European country respect or not a list of 22 rights and protections. The results are not very positive. The continent is basically divided into two: in the East transgender people live under disrespectful laws, while in the West the situation is better, but there is still a very long way to go. However, countries with the most trans-friendly legislation are Malta and Croatia. At the other extreme, Kosovo and four micro-states (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino, to whom we should add the Vatican City) do not guarantee any rights and any protection.
The map above graphically represents TGEU’s data. The countries have been divided into two categories: those that provide more than half of the 22 rights and protections are coloured with green (its increasing intensity indicates a greater presence of guarantees), while states that guarantee less than half go them are represented in red (its increasing intensity indicates a greater lack of guarantees). Obviously, representations of this type have limits, starting from the reduction of complex and very varied elements firstly to a number and then to a tonality, without being able to attach different degrees of importance in an objective way.
In addition, the map does not take into account the (rare) differences at a sub-national level (with the exception of Northern Ireland, the sub-national legislations have been attributed to the entire state only if they apply on the majority of the national population). Finally, we have to keep in mind that legal data are always an element that does not describe exhaustively the situation of a country.
Despite all this, we believe that the map could facilitate an early awareness of the challenges we still face in order to free the continent from discrimination based on gender identity.