Massive survey of transgender people in the US highlights inequality

Bathroom trans

While bathroom usage stays at the forefront of discussion about transgender rights in the USA, a new study has highlighted the many different challenges faced by transgender people.

Last week The Transgender Centre for Equality released one of the largest surveys ever conducted about transgender people’s lives. The survey was conducted in 2015 and 28,000 people took part in it.

Here’s some of the key findings.

  • Transgender people are twice as likely to experience poverty.
  • If you’re trans, your three time more likely to be unemployed.
  • 40% of respondents were likely to have attempted suicide, the US national average is 4.6 of the population. So, that’s almost 10 times more likely.
  • You’re more likely to have experience violence, harassment and psychological distress.
  • Trans people live in every part of the USA.

The centre’s last survey was conducted in 2008/90 and involved 6,450 respondents. Despite there being many advances politically in the intervening years the results show that not a lot has changed in terms in discrimination and acts of violence.

The bathroom debate that has been at the forefront of discussion in the USA has also had an dramatic effect on trans people’s lives. Almost 60% of respondents said they had avoided using public restrooms and a third of people surveyed said they limited what they ate and drank in public to avoid having to go to the bathroom.

Transgender people were also much less likely to own their own home and more likely to experience homelessness. Only 16% of the respondents said they owned their own home, compared to 63 percent of adults in the USA nationally. Thirty percent of the respondents said they had experienced homelessness.

In the year prior to completing the survey, 46% of those taking part in the study reported being verbally harassed and 9% reported that they were physically attacked because of being transgender.

A massive 47% said they had been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.

High schools were highlighted as a place where a lot of abuse took place. Of the respondents who were out or perceived as transgender while in school.

Twenty four percent reported that they were physically attacked because they were transgender and 13% said they were sexually assaulted. Seventeen percent of those facing this abuse reported that they dropped out of school because of severe mistreatment.

OIP Staff

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