41% of respondents to a survey reported having attempted suicide (vs. 1.6% of the general population).
Of this same group, respondents were 4 times more likely than the general population to live in extreme poverty, defined as earning less than $10,000 per year.
The thing these people have in common? They are transgender Americans. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force recently released a study on discrimination against transgender or gender non-conforming people, using data collected from 6,450 participants. Today, a new video on its results co-produced by the PBS show In the Life appears on Feministing.
The data is not only compelling, but alarming. Respondents were subjected to significantly higher rates of discrimination and harassment in virtually every arena, including education, health care, housing, and law enforcement. These results were further compounded by the issue of race – non-whites consistently reported the most instances of discrimination, indicating that the combination of anti-transgender prejudice and structural racism is a particularly troubling combination.
The results of this survey present evidence that if you weren’t already concerned about the way that we treat folks who operate outside of a traditional gender dichotomy, you should give it a good hard think. They are often the victims of serious consequences, not only psychologically, but also in their ability to make a living and stand as respected and valued members of their communities. You can read the full paper here, or watch the video here.