Many Transgender Americans Face Stigma and Financial Hardship, Survey Finds

Transgender and nonbinary Americans experience stark rates of unemployment and harassment, according to the largest survey of their life experiences to date. The data reflect a longstanding pattern of discrimination at a time when states across the country have passed laws restricting their health care, bathroom access and participation in sports.

The findings come from the U.S. Transgender Survey, which many researchers and policymakers have relied on since a version of it debuted in 2011. The National Center for Transgender Equality, an advocacy group, carried out the latest iteration of the survey in late 2022, garnering responses from more than 92,000 transgender and nonbinary Americans, age 16 and up, from every state in the country.

The group released a preliminary analysis of responses to the survey’s 600 questions on Wednesday, with the full report expected later this year.

The survey was not given to a random sample of transgender people, so it cannot be interpreted as representative of the transgender population as a whole. It also skewed young, with 43 percent of respondents ages 18 to 24.

Still, there were more than three times as many respondents as there were in 2015, the last time the survey was conducted, when 28,000 people participated.

“You don’t see data sets like this,” Sandy James, an attorneyand the lead researcher of the new survey, said in a press briefing. “Tens of thousands of trans people knew that it was imperative that they make their voices heard.”

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