Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey was released on February 3rd. Pieces of this report have come out over the past several months (posted about here and on Bird of Paradox, as well as likely many other locations). This is, however, the full 220-page report, which is filled with some depressing statistics.
- Respondents were four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with incomes lower than $10,000
- Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed
- One in four reported being fired for their gender identity or expression
- Half said they experienced harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace
- One in five said they experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression
- 19% said they had been refused a home or apartment
- 19% said they had been refused health care
- 31% reported harassment or bullying by teachers
- 41% reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% for the general population
In category after category, the study showed that transgender people of color faced even more pronounced discrimination and higher negative outcomes; for example, African-American respondents reported unemployment levels at double the other respondents’, or four times the national average.
“The data really shows the compounding effects of racism combined with antitrans bias that combines to cause devastation and life-threatening discrimination for trans people of color,” said Mottet.
I am disappointed to note that there is no serious breakdown of how these numbers intersect with disability. 31% of the respondents indicated they had disabilities (categorized as physical, mental, or learning – national average is 20%), but the survey was perhaps not specific enough to match the CDC’s definition of a disability. 8% of the respondents received disability benefits.
I think this report largely covers the kinds of issues we’re facing as a community (or rather, as several overlapping communities). It finally gives us a focus on the concrete obstacles that trans people face, as well as how these obstacles differ on the basis of race. There is no rational objection to the idea that institutionalized cissexism is a real force that harms people on a daily basis.
Far more than the brain scans that Quinnae critiqued last week, this research has an immediate, practical, obvious purpose. Hopefully this data will translate into meaningful action.
I’ll need more time to digest the report before I’ll be able to say more about this.