Senate Briefing: The Prevalence of Discrimination Against Transgender People.

On Tuesday, May 22, Senator Merkley’s office sponsored a briefing in the Capitol Visitors Center on the Prevalence of Discrimination Against Transgender People.

The briefing featured findings from a report by the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) entitled Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Study.

Downloaded the report here:
http://www.transequality.org/PDFs/Executive_Summary.pdf

The study is the largest ever done on the prevalence of discrimination against transgender people.  It reveals that transgender and gender non-conforming people face injustice in many places, including: childhood homes; in school systems that promise to shelter and educate; in harsh and exclusionary workplaces; at the grocery store; at the hotel front desk; in doctors’ offices; and at emergency rooms. The study showed:

– Alarmingly high rates of harassment and discrimination while in grades K-12: harassment (78%), physical assault (35%) and sexual assault (12%). 51% of those who were verbally harassed, physically or sexually assaulted, or were expelled because they were transgender or gender non-conforming reported having attempted suicide.
– Direct housing discrimination — 19% reported having been refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity/expression.
– Double the rate of unemployment: survey respondents experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
– Harassment, mistreatment or discrimination: ninety percent (90%) of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job or took actions like hiding who they are to avoid it.

The briefing included remarks by Jaime M. Grant, Ph.D., Executive Director, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality, Jack Harrison, Policy Analyst, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and Alex Nelson, a Maryland resident who experienced employment discrimination on the basis of his gender identity.

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