A groundbreaking study in the US has found that transgender people face appalling and pervasive discrimination.
Released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) the report, Injustice at Every Turn, assesses the depth of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people in a wide range of areas.
These include education, health care, employment, and housing and is based on a survey of over 6,450 participants. The report is described as the first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming Americans.
Among the key findings from Injustice at Every Turn:
Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty.
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.
While discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, it was particularly pronounced for people of colour. African-American transgender respondents fared far worse than all others in many areas studied.
Housing discrimination was also common. 19% 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.
An astonishing 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6% of the general population.
Discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes were frequently experienced by respondents. 19% reported being refused care due to bias against transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of colour. Respondents also had over four times the national average of HIV infection.
Harassment by law enforcement was reported by 22% of respondents and nearly half were uncomfortable seeking police assistance.
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.
“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.”