We congratulate our friends at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) who today released the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted. Their findings reveal significant disparities between transgender people and the rest of the U.S. population across a range of categories. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) examined the experiences of transgender people across the United States, with 27,715 respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases overseas. The USTS serves as a follow-up to the groundbreaking 2008-2009 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), which has been integral in shifting how the public and policymakers view transgender people and the challenges they face.
Among the starkest findings is that 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their lifetime—nearly nine times the attempted suicide rate in the U.S. population (4.6%). As David Crary reports in the Washington Post, “There have been some important gains for transgender rights in the years between the two surveys, but the new survey showed little or no improvement in terms of transgender people’s day-to-day experiences with bias,” and that the survey “paints a grim picture of pervasive discrimination and harassment” against the transgender community. The full survey report is available at www.ustranssurvey.org.
While we still have a long way to go, the improved visibility and acceptance highlighted by the report may be an indicator that we are moving in the right direction in some aspects. 60% of respondents reported that their family was accepting of them as a transgender individual and 68% of those out to their coworkers report acceptance in the workplace.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth. We encourage transgender youth to reach out to us via the Trevor Lifeline 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.