Sur­vey finds per­va­sive bias, high sui­cide at­tempt rate

The Denver Post - - NATION & WORLD - By David Crary

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.

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