5 of the most unsettling realities for America's trans community

A new report, Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans, has found that transgender people are among the most vulnerable communities in America. Transgender women and trans people of color are at particular risk.

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP), released the report today in partnership with GLAAD, the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the Transgender Law Center.

Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans is an introduction to the many issues facing transgender Americans. From high rates of poverty, harassment, violence, poor health, limited job opportunities, and isolation from their larger communities, transgender people, especially transgender women and transgender people of color, are among the most vulnerable communities in the country. The guide includes policy recommendations to address these harmful disparities and to improve the lives of transgender Americans. 

Here are some of the report's findings:

  1. More than half of all LGBT homicide victims in 2013 were transgender women of color.
    Trans women and trans people of color are also more likely to be treated violently by law enforcement officials. Trans people are more likely than people who aren't trans to experience physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and harassment.
  2. Compared to less than 2% of all Americans, 41% of trans people surveyed by the National Transgender Discrimination Survey have attempted suicide.

    Being bullied, harassed, assaulted, or expelled for being trans or gender-non conforming in school increases the odds that a person will attempt to take their own life. 36 states lack laws that specifically protect LGBT students from these experiences.
  3. High rates of housing discrimination are tied with a high rate of homelessness in the trans community.

    Often rejected by their families or refused housing because of who they are, one in five trans people experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives. Nearly one-third of people who are homeless and trans are turned away from shelters.
  4. Only 17 states protect people from discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of gender identity, but 65% of trans people reported experiencing such discrimination in the past  year.
  5. An estimated one in four black transgender people in the US are living with HIV/AIDS, but trans people often face discrimination by healthcare providers and/or inaccess to healthcare coverage.

Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans includes additional information on workplace discrimination, parenting, state-by-state laws, variations by race, and more.

Also published today is the report, Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being Transgender in America, explores the high rates of unemployment and poverty.

These findings are deeply upsetting and illustrate inequities in our country, but GLAAD remains committed to bringing attention to transgender people and their experiences. Trans people and characters have gained significant visibility in the media in recent years, which helps people around the world better understand the trans community and build respect. As the media continues to grow in its well-rounded and honest portrayals of trans people, our culture will continue to shift such that trans people's realities include more opportunities to thrive.

Earlier this year, as part of the same series, MAP, BiNet USA, and the Bisexual Resource Center put out a report covering issues facing the bisexual community.

Read Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans in full here. Check out GLAAD and MAP's "An Ally's Guide to Terminology" to learn effective ways to advance discussions about issues facing the trans community.