by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released a comprehensive new report, 'Injustice at Every Turn,' on February 4, revealing the depth of discrimination against Transgender and gender nonconforming people in a wide range of areas, including education, health care, employment, and housing. The study, based on the results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), was based on responses from over 6,450 participants.
The NTDS is the first large-scale national study of discrimination against Transgender and gender nonconforming Americans, and paints a more complete picture than any prior research to date.
Among the key findings from 'Injustice at Every Turn':
o Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household income of less than $10,000.
o Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the population as a whole. Half of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace, and one in four were fired because of their gender identity or expression.
o While discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, it was particularly pronounced for people of color. African American Transgender respondents fared far worse than all others in many areas studied.
o Housing discrimination was also common. Nineteen percent reported being refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. One in five respondents experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression.
o An astonishing 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6% of the general population.
o Discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes were frequently experienced by respondents. Nineteen percent reported being refused care due to bias against Transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of color. Respondents also had over four times the national average of HIV infection.
o Harassment by law enforcement was reported by 22% of respondents and nearly half were uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
o Despite the hardships they often face, Transgender and gender non-conforming persons persevere. Over 78% reported feeling more comfortable at work and their performance improving after transitioning, despite the same levels of harassment in the workplace.
'By shedding light on the discrimination that Transgender Americans face, this study poses a challenge to us all,' said Rea Carey, executive director for the NGLTF. 'No one should be out of a job, living in poverty, or faced with sub-par health care simply because of their gender identity or expression. The scope of the problem is clear, and now we must come together to solve it.'
'Reading these results is heartbreaking on a personal level - each of these facts and figures represents pain and hardship endured by real people, every single day,' said Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE. 'This survey is a call to the conscience of every American who believes that everyone has the right to a fair chance to work hard, to have a roof overhead, and to support a family. Equality, not discrimination, is the ideal that Americans believe in, have fought for, and need to apply here.'
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force builds the grassroots power of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement.
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a non-profit, social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment. NCTE was founded in 2003 by Transgender activists who saw the urgent need for a consistent voice in Washington, D.C. Their work focuses on federal policy, federal legislation and other issues of national significance that impact the lives of Transgender people and our families.
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