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Our research is driven by our young people and the families we help. By producing meaningful and impactful research, we can bring about positive change for the people we support.

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New: The Lottery of Primary Care

In 2020, Mermaids and De Montfort University launched a survey to find out about the experiences of children, young people and their families visiting their GP for support relating to gender identity. We received over 200 responses. Here’s what we found out…

The bitesize version

Over half of young people felt, or somewhat felt, that they had to dress in a particular way in order to access support from their GP.

Two thirds of respondents reported that their GP surgery had no visible signs of LGBTQ+ support.

Almost one third of respondents reported needing to visit more than one GP to access support relating to gender identity.

Almost two thirds of respondents felt that their GP would be open to learning more about gender identity.

Respondents whose GP had previous experience supporting transgender/gender-diverse young people tended to rate their quality of support higher.

A quarter of respondents felt that they either had, or possibly had, been treated unfairly or with bias by their GP.



Who are we?

Dr Abby Barras, Researcher

Abby (She/Her) joined Mermaids in 2021, and passionately believes in the power of trans-inclusive research. Her PhD focused on the lived experiences of trans and non-binary people in sport and exercise, and you can read it here.

Kai O’Doherty, Head of Policy & Research

Kai (They/Them) is a genderqueer policy professional, with experience in the public sector, charities and community organising. They are passionate about building utopias for LGBTQIA+ people, and finding joy in the face of adversity. Originally from Bermuda, they can be found seeking warm oceans or cosy dad jumpers.

What we’re working on


Improving inclusion in grassroots sports for young gender diverse people in the UK.

Clinical care

Examining the experiences of trans young people and their families when accessing clinical care in the UK (with Goldsmiths, University of London).

Parental support

The parental support experiences of gender-diverse young people (with Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham).

Identifying the needs and experiences of our service users

A longitudinal study (with the University of Brighton and the Centre for Transforming Sexuality and Gender).