Devestating new data on transgender community

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Transgender day of remembrance 2016
Transgender day of remembrance 2016

The National Center for Transgender Equality published a new report on the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey this month that is devastating. The survey is a follow up to the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey published by the National LGBTQ Task Force and NCTE.

The report was compiled from data collected from 27,715 transgender people in the United States, many territories and U.S. military bases. The National LGBTQ Task Force’s Trans/Gender Non-Conforming Justice Project Director Victoria Rodriguez-Roldan joined transgender advocates at a press conference at the National Press Club as key report findings were announced. 

“The report findings are devastating and unfortunately not surprising. As a transgender Latina,  the findings that 43  percent of transgender Latinos and Latinas living in poverty, and 41 percent of transgender Latinos and Latinas reporting unemployment, hit very close to home,” said Rodrigues-Roldan. “And as a transgender advocate working every day on health policy, I know all too well the barriers transgender people experience when attempting to access basic health and human services.”

“Everyone — including transgender people —  deserves a fighting chance to provide for themselves and their families.” she said. “Unfortunately, transgender people continue experiencing alarming inequalities in the U.S.,  as this report vividly depicts. Much more needs to be done to protect transgender people against violence and discrimination. Urgent steps include strong federal laws against discrimination in employment, housing, health, education, and public places”

The full report is available online. Some of the key report findings include:

Violence & Mistreatment

  • At home, 10% of transgender people who were out to their immediate family report that a family member was violent towards them because they are transgender, and 8% were kicked out of their home.
  • At school, 54% of transgender people report being verbally harassed, 24% report being physically attacked, and 13% sexually assaulted.
  • In places of public accommodation, 31% of transgender people experienced at least one type of mistreatment in the past year, such as being denied equal treatment or service, verbally harassed, or physically attacked.  

 Economic Hardship

  • One in three transgender people (29%) report living in poverty, compared to 14% of the U.S. population.
  • 15% of transgender people report being unemployed, which is 3 times higher than the national average (5%). 

Physical & Mental Health

  • 40% of transgender people report attempting suicide in their lifetime—nearly 9 times the attempted suicide rate among the entire U.S. population (4.6%).
  • 33% of transgender people who saw a health care provider had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, such as verbal harassment or refusal of treatment.
  • 33% report not going to a health care provider when they needed because they could not afford it.

 “At the National LGBTQ Task Force, we are working tirelessly to advance civil rights for transgender people with disabilities and to end discrimination in health care,” said Rodriquez-Roldan. “The findings that 40% of transgender people  have attempted suicide, and that a third of respondents have experienced mistreatment when seeking medical care are particularly distressing and underline the need for improving access to health care for trans people.” 

Earlier this year, the National LGBTQ Task Force published a guide for employers on how to create a safe and welcoming workplace for transgender people. More information on LGBT topics is available at www.thetaskforce.org