New Analysis Reveals Disproportionate Discrimination and Violence Against Latino/a Transgender People

Yesterday, the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE),  the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) released Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Latino/a Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,  revealing that transgender Latino/a people face poverty, unemployment, homelessness, discrimination and violence at significantly higher rates than both the overall transgender population and the general population. Additionally, the findings show that immigration status plays a role in these outcomes, with non-citizen Latino/a respondents often reporting even worse experiences.

This report supplements an earlier national study, Injustice at Every Turn, which was released in February and revealed widespread discrimination experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people across the board.

"This study shows how devastating multiple discrimination is for Latino and Latina transgender people," said LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes in the press release of the report. "We are committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation and gender identity are respected and treated fairly. We call upon other Latino groups to join us as we fight for the right of transgender people to live without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence. We will not stand idly by in a society where equality is not within everyone's reach."

Key findings of the report include:

  • 20 percent of Latino/a transgender people are unemployed, nearly three times the rate of the general population at the time the survey was fielded (7 percent).
  • 28 percent of Latino/a transgender people live in extreme poverty, with an income of less than $10,000/year. For non-citizen Latino/a transgender people, that rate is 43 percent.
  • One in 12 Latino/a transgender people are HIV-positive and an additional 10 percent do not know their status.  
  • Latino/a transgender people who were “out” as transgender while attending K-12 school reported alarming rates of harassment (77 percent), physical assault (36 percent), and sexual assault (13 percent); harassment was so severe that it led 21 percent to leave school.
  • 23 percent of Latino/a transgender people have been refused medical care due to bias.
  • 27percent of Latino/a transgender people have experienced homelessness, nearly four times the rate of the general U.S. population (7.4 percent).

Media outlets including the Miami Herald and ThinkProgress published findings from the study yesterday.  

Additionally, NCTE, the Task Force and LULAC released a video promoting the study, featuring transgender, gay and Latino leaders.
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In the video, LULAC Member Jesse Garcia states, “When I hear about the statistics that Latinos, especially immigrant Latinos, face higher rates of harassment and just goes to show how divided this nation has become because of the political rhetoric that we hear every day - the bashing of Latinos, and immigrants - this has spilled over to the gay community and the transgender community.”

Diego Sanchez, legislative assistant for Congressman Barney Frank, and the first openly transgender person working on Capitol Hill, adds, “I urge people to take the numbers from the study...use those numbers, make them more broadly known, and humanize them by being present in front of the people who can make it different.  Be part of the change, and welcome the changes as they occur.  They’re not all going to happen at once, but they can happen if we demand them and we ask for them boldly from the people who have the power to make it different.”