Two Important Trans Surveys!

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August 20, 2015
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Two high-impact nationwide transgender-specific surveys are now available to the community.

The National Center for Transgender Equality's U.S. Trans Survey, the second and largest survey of its kind since 2011, went live on Wednesday August 19, 2015. This is a chance for a large-scale survey participant pool to provide information about experiences as transgender, genderqueer and/or non-binary people.

On August 3, 2015, the Transgender Law Center's Positively Trans (T+) Survey also went live to capture the lived experiences of transgender people living with HIV. This community-led survey seeks to mobilize and promote resilience through research, policy, and legal advocacy.

We need to learn more about the issues the transgender community faces. Much of what we do know comes from Injustice at Every Turn: A Report on the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, published in 2011. It surveyed over 6,000 self-identified transgender people on a variety of issues, including health, employment, housing, family life, education and interactions with the criminal justice system. It is the single most-cited survey of transgender people and is used to shape policy and research as well as to provide the public with a better understanding of this underserved community.

We must continue gathering information about the issues affecting transgender people and people living with HIV to better advocates for necessary legal, policy and societal changes. For example, health care is a high-priority area for our advocacy. Factors such as discrimination and stigma create barriers to affirming and competent care for many transgender people and people with HIV and often prevent them from seeking health care. And members of the community living with HIV still suffer from significant social stigma, which can impede their access to services. In the face of all of these challenges, many healthcare professionals lack experience with and/or knowledge of the transgender community (as can be seen on Twitter under the recently-trending #TransHealthFail hashtag).

With this information in hand, Lambda Legal has been at the forefront of advocating for healthcare fairness, including both cultural and clinical competence. Recently, Transgender Rights Project Director Dru Levasseur teamed up with the New York State Attorney General’s Office to improve healthcare outcomes for transgender New Yorkers by training hospital employees on how to ensure transgender individuals have equal access to health services.

And before policing reform grabbed front-page headlines this year, Lambda Legal was already recording the community’s experience with the criminal justice system in our Protected & Served? study, and successfully advocating against police profiling members of the community and against using condoms as evidence of prostitution-related crimes. The burden of this kind of policing falls heavily on transgender women profiled and targeted as being sex workers.

Results from these surveys will help inform our advocacy to address these systemic issues.

Both the U.S. Trans Survey and the Positively Trans Survey are available in English and Spanish.

For more information, please visit the following sites:

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