According to a new study published by the Williams Institute of UCLA, there are an estimated 58,000 transgender people living in New York, and half of them are still not protected under local anti-discrimination laws. This leaves New York tax payers with covering the cost of public assistance and housing for 23,800 transgender people, who face inordinate levels of homelessness and unemployment. The study estimates that $7 million in taxes are spent annually due to effects of discrimination, with $1 million toward Medicaid and another $5.9 million in federal and state housing program expenditures.
New York officials need to realize that by enacting an inclusive state wide anti-discrimination law, transgender people would generate income tax revenue while lowering the cost of government funding to housing and employment programs. According to data from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, out of 531 transgender New Yorkers, 37 percent were not hired after an interview, 20 percent lost a job, and 74 percent said they were harassed or mistreated on the job all due to their gender expression or identity.
New York State senator Daniel Squadron introduced an anti-discrimination bill, which New York State senator Brad Hoylman noted would cover the remaining transgender people in New York State that aren't currently protected by the law. “It shocks the conscience that nearly 24,000 New Yorkers can be fired from their jobs or be evicted from their homes merely because of their gender identity or expression,” Hoylman stated.
One law can start a forward movement in protecting the lives and futures of transgender New Yorkers. Creating this state wide anti-discrimination bill would benefit all parties involved, the government would be able to allocate monies towards other federally funded programs, and the state of New York would be setting an example for future change and progression in transgender equality.
See the full study by the Williams Institute for more information on anti-transgender discrimination in New York.