A survey of more than 90,000 transgender people in the U.S. — the largest nationwide survey of the community to date — found that trans people continue to face workplace and medical discrimination. However, the vast majority of them report that they are still more satisfied with life after the transition.
The National Center for Transgender Equality, or NCTE, one of the country’s largest trans rights organizations, released its report. 2022 US Transgender Survey Early Insights reports Wednesday after a one-year delay due in part to the pandemic. The survey, the most comprehensive look at transgender lives in the U.S., comes as hundreds of bills over the past three years have attempted to roll back trans rights, often by limiting trans people’s access to transition-related health and health care. ability of trans students to participate in school sports.
“There is still a lack of information to legislators, media and advocates about our experiences and needs,” NCTE Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said at a press conference on Tuesday. “At best, we work in an information vacuum. At worst, we are dealing with dangerous misinformation spread by trans extremists. Undoubtedly, misinformation and misunderstanding are at the root of the growing legislative attacks on our society.”
of the organization 2015 US Transgender Survey It was the largest survey of trans people in the country, with nearly 28,000 respondents age 18 and older, and was cited widely, including by Congress and the Supreme Court. Josie Caballero, the survey’s director, said the 2022 iteration more than tripled the number of respondents — to a total of 92,329 from every state and multiple U.S. territories — and improved in several other ways. For example, the 2015 survey included 605 possible questions out of 324 (although no respondent received all possible questions) and included more than 8,000 16- and 17-year-old respondents. However, the study authors note that the online survey was not a random sample of respondents, and while the sample was large, the findings may not be representative of all trans people.
Of the 84,170 adult respondents, 38% identified as non-binary, 35% as transgender women, 25% as transgender men, and 2% as cross-dressers.
Persistent discrimination and ill-treatment
Among the key findings released Wednesday, the survey found that trans people continue to report experiencing discrimination and mistreatment based on their gender identity and/or expression.
More than a third of adult respondents, or 34%, were experiencing poverty at the time of the survey, and 18% were unemployed. About 1 in 10, or 11%, of respondents who had ever worked said they had been fired or forced to resign or lost their job or been fired because of their gender identity or expression. And according to the results of a previous survey, 30% of respondents experienced homelessness in their lifetime.
48% of adult respondents who had seen health care providers in the previous 12 months reported having at least one negative experience because they were transgender, including being denied medical care, staff using the wrong pronouns for them, or providers using offensive language. or be physically rude or abusive when treating. Fear of mistreatment prevented 24% of respondents from seeking medical attention in the 12 months prior to the survey.
Many respondents also reported being mistreated at school in the past. 80% of adult respondents outside of K-12 who identify as trans have experienced one or more experiences, including verbal harassment, physical attacks, online bullying, or denial of use of restrooms or locker rooms that match their gender identity. how many mistreatments he has faced. 60% of 8,159 respondents aged 16 and 17 reported such mistreatment.
Higher life satisfaction after transition
Despite these negative experiences, the vast majority of adult respondents, 79%, who had at least some of their birth gender reported that they were “more satisfied” with their lives. An additional 15% reported being “a little more satisfied.”
Respondents who received transition care reported similarly high satisfaction rates. 84% of respondents currently receiving hormone therapy for their gender identity/transition said that such treatment made them “more satisfied” with their lives, and 14% said it made them “a little more satisfied.” Only 1% said they were neither more nor less satisfied with hormone therapy, and less than 1% said they were much less satisfied with hormone therapy.
Of respondents who had at least one form of gender-affirming surgery, 88% said it made them “more satisfied” and 9% said it made them a little more satisfied. Less than 2% overall said they were somewhat or very unsatisfied with the operation.
“It may seem obvious to some of us that if you’re transgender and you need transition health care, of course your life will be better if you get that health care,” Heng-Lehtinen said Tuesday. “But it’s really important to really ask people and find out objectively what their experiences are, because transition health care is otherwise under attack in state legislatures across the country.”
Effects of anti-trans legislation
In the last three years 23 states have restricted gender-affirming health care – including puberty blockers, hormone therapy and surgery, according to the LGBTQ think tank Movement Development Project, for minors and, in some cases, adults. Half of the states are banned transgender student-athletes from participating in school sports on teams that match their gender identity rather than their gender assigned at birth; 10 states have passed restrictive laws which bathrooms trans people can use in schools, colleges and/or public buildings.
Nearly half of respondents to the most recent US Transgender Survey said they were thinking about moving to another state because their state governments were considering or passing laws targeting transgender people, and 5% — about 4,600 people — said they had actually moved to another state. from such legislation.
The top 10 states where trans respondents reported moving to were, in alphabetical order, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
Most report having supportive families
The state of trans rights across the country does not reflect what trans people live with their families at home. 67% of adult respondents reported that their immediate family was either supportive or very supportive, 22% were neither supportive nor supportive, and 12% were either not supportive or very supportive.
44% of 16- and 17-year-old respondents reported that their families were either supportive or very supportive, 28% were neither supportive nor supportive, and 29% were not supportive or very supportive.
“It’s important to see that many trans people have supportive families because we often hear and see otherwise,” Sandy James, one of the report’s authors, said at a press conference Tuesday.
Heng-Lehtinen said the new data will revolutionize the field of transgender protection.
“I am confident that the results of the 2022 survey will not only serve as an important tool for education, research, and policy, but will also catalyze a paradigm shift for the transgender advocacy movement by empowering advocates with robust and current information about our needs. and experiences,” he said.
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