Survey finds pervasive bias, high suicide attempt rate
The Associated Press
new york» The largest-ever survey of transgender Americans paints a grim picture of pervasive discrimination and harassment, to the point that many of them attempt suicide at some point.
Released on Thursday by the National Center for Transgender Equality, the survey assesses input received in 2015 from 27,715 respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and three U.S. territories. The largest previous transgender survey, conducted by the center in 2008-09, had 6,450 responses.
There have been important gains for transgender rights in the years between the surveys, but the new survey showed little or no improvement in terms of transgender people’s day-to-day experiences with bias.
One finding remained virtually unchanged from the earlier survey: 40 percent of the respondents said they had attempted suicide. Researchers estimate the overall rate in the U.S. is less than 5 percent.
Another notable finding: 59 percent of survey respondents said they avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems. About one-third said they limited the amount that they ate and drank to avoid using a restroom.
“Discrimination and violence threaten transgender people’s ability to have even the basics: food, a place to sleep, or a job,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the national center.