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Discrimination is pervasive against transgender Americans, groundbreaking study finds

MINNEAPOLIS - A comprehensive new report, "Injustice at Every Turn," reveals the depth of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people in a wide range of areas, including education, health care, employment and housing.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) released the report today.

The groundbreaking study, based on the results from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), was based on responses from over 6,450 participants. The NTDS is the first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and paints a more complete picture than any prior research to date.

Among the key findings:

* Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household income of less than $10,000.

* Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the population as a whole. Half of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace, and one in four were fired because of their gender identity or expression.

* While discrimination was pervasive for the entire sample, it was particularly pronounced for people of color.African-American transgender respondents fared far worse than all others in many areas studied.

* Housing discrimination was also common. 19% reported being refused a home or apartment and 11% reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. One in five respondents experienced homelessness because of their gender identity or expression.

* An astonishing 41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6% of the general population.

* Discrimination in health care and poor health outcomes were frequently experienced by respondents. 19% reported being refused care due to bias against transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of color. Respondents also had over four times the national average of HIV infection.

* Harassment by law enforcement was reported by 22% of respondents and nearly half were uncomfortable seeking police assistance.

* Despite the hardships they often face, transgender and gender non-conforming persons persevere. Over 78% reported feeling more comfortable at work and their performance improving after transitioning, despite the same levels of harassment in the workplace.

"By shedding light on the discrimination that transgender Americans face, this study poses a challenge to us all," said Rea Carey, executive director of the Task Force.

"No one should be out of a job, living in poverty, or faced with sub-par health care simply because of their gender identity or expression. The scope of the problem is clear, and now we must come together to solve it."

Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE, said the study shines the light on a subject not often discussed in the LGBT community.

"Reading these results is heartbreaking on a personal level-each of these facts and figures represents pain and hardship endured by real people, every single day," Keisling said.

"This survey is a call to the conscience of every American who believes that everyone has the right to a fair chance to work hard, to have a roof overhead, and to support a family. Equality, not discrimination, is the ideal that Americans believe in, have fought for, and need to apply here."

To read the full PDF report, click HERE