Today, the National Center for Transgender Equality released the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), a groundbreaking, new report on the experiences of transgender people in the United States. The report’s sobering results, which found that transgender people continue to face widespread discrimination throughout daily life, underscore the urgency of the fight for trans equality.
Among its various findings, 30 percent of respondents who had a job reported being fired, denied a promotion or experiencing some other form of mistreatment in the workplace due to their gender identity. Within health care, one third of transgender people surveyed stated that they had at least one negative experience related to being transgender when seeing a health care provider and 23 percent reported that they had avoided going to a health care provider within the last year due to fears of being mistreated.
While the USTS was conducted prior to this year’s national debate around anti-transgender bills like HB2 in North Carolina and the hostile environment it created, the report still found that more than half of respondents avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of mistreatment or confrontation due to their transgender identity.
The USTS included 27,715 respondents from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, several U.S. territories, and overseas military bases, making it the largest survey of transgender people ever. The USTS serves a follow up to the 2008-2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force.
Nearly unchanged from the results of the previous survey was the 40 percent of respondents who stated that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives, compared to 41 percent in the 2008-2009 study. The USTS did find that the rate of attempted suicide dropped dramatically – from 54 percent to 37 percent – depending whether the transgender person had family support. While still an alarmingly high figure, the drop demonstrates the significant impact that family support can have on the safety and well-being of transgender people. In fact, the report found significantly lower rates of across several negative outcomes for transgender individuals with supportive families, including lower rates of homelessness and serious psychological distress.