‘We urge all transgender and gender non-conforming people to take the survey. We need everyone’s voice in this, everyone’s participation,’ said Mara Keisling.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have launched a comprehensive national survey to collect data on discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodations, health care, education, family life and criminal justice.
The study comes amid one of the worst years on record for anti-transgender violence, as determined by NCTE. To date, several gender non-conforming people of color have been murdered, including California junior high school student Lawrence King who was shot dead in class, Simmie Williams who was gunned down on a street corner in Florida and Angie Zappata who was beaten to death in Colorado.
Trans activists have also spent much of 2008 fighting to keep gender-identity included in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This is crucial, they explain, because discrimination in employment can lead to unstable housing situations, inadequate medical care and reliance on public programs and public officials who might not respond respectfully or appropriately.
The Comprehensive National Survey on Transgender Discrimination will look at the full range of challenges facing transgender Americans as well as the factors that trigger them.
“We know that transgender people face discrimination on multiple fronts,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE. “This data will help us sort out the combination of forces that leave transgender people vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness and violence.”
Jaime Grant, director of the Task Force Policy Institute said, “There is so little concrete data on the needs and risks associated with the widespread discrimination we see in the lives of the transgender people we know. This data will help point the way to an appropriate policy agenda to ensure that transgender people have a fair chance to contribute their talents in the workplace, in our educational systems and in our communities.”
NCTE and the Task Force have partnered with Pennsylvania State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education to collect and analyze the data. Survey organizers noted that “applying rigorous academic standards to the investigation will strengthen any case made to legislators, policy makers, health care providers, and others whose decisions impact the lives of transgender people.”
A national team of experts in survey research and transgender issues developed the questionnaire, which can be completed online (see address below). Surveys can also be downloaded for printing by going to the NCTE or Task Force websites.
“This is an absolutely critical national effort,” Keisling said. “We urge all transgender and gender non-conforming people to take the survey to help guide us in making better laws and policies that will improve the quality of life for all transgender people. We need everyone’s voice in this, everyone’s participation.”
To take the survey online, go to https://online.survey.psu.edu/endtransdiscrim.