Transgender Issues

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    Transgender inclusion in state non-discrimination policies: The democratic deficit and political powerlessness

    By Andrew Flores, Jody Herman and Christy Mallory
    December 2015

    We find that there is a substantial democratic deficit regarding the inclusion of gender identity or transgender in employment non-discrimination policies. On average, state support for the policy must be 81% in order for the state to have a policy reflecting such sentiment. This leaves substantial implications for the political powerlessness of transgender people in the political process.

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    The Legal Needs of Transgender Women Living with HIV: Evaluating Access to Justice in Los Angeles

    By Ayako Miyashita, Amira Hasenbush, and Brad Sears
    November 2015

    This report summarizes findings of the Legal Assessment of Needs Study (“LeAN Study”) – an online survey with 387 respondents who identified as people living with HIV/AIDS – for transgender women living with HIV in Los Angeles County. We describe respondents’ legal needs, respondents’ experiences getting assistance for identified legal needs from both legal and non-legal sources, and barriers respondents faced in accessing assistance from both legal and non-legal sources. We describe differences and similarities between transgender women and all other respondents. Finally, we discuss how these legal needs may relate to health access and health status.

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    Attitudes toward Transgender Rights: Perceived Knowledge and Secondary Interpersonal Contact

    By Andrew R. Flores
    June 2015

    This study examines public attitudes about transgender rights in the USA. It finds that as respondents report being more informed about transgender people they tend to have more supportive attitudes. Interpersonal contact with someone who is lesbian or gay also leads to a secondary transfer of positive attitudes. About half of the secondary transfer effect operates through a mechanism of attitude generalization: contact positively affects the opinions people have on gay rights that then broaden to affect attitudes on transgender rights.

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    Making Transgender Count

    By Jody Herman, Andrew Flores, et al.
    February 2015

    The February 2015 edition of Transgender Studies Quarterly includes two articles co-authored by Williams Institute researchers. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly offers a high-profile venue for innovative research and scholarship that contest the objectification, pathologization, and exoticization of transgender lives. It will publish interdisciplinary work that explores the diversity of gender, sex, sexuality, embodiment, and identity in ways that have not been adequately addressed by feminist and queer scholarship.

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    The Cost of Employment Discrimination against Transgender Residents of Florida

    By Taylor N.T. Brown and Jody Herman
    April 2015

    The State of Florida spends more than a half million dollars each year as the result of employment discrimination against transgender residents. Currently, 10 counties and 14 cities in Florida have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in public and private sector employment, but nearly 22,000 transgender adult residents are not covered by these laws. Employment discrimination against transgender adults in Florida costs the state an estimated $570,000 annually in state Medicaid expenditures alone.

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    TransPop: U.S. Transgender Population Health Survey

    By Ilan H. Meyer, Walter O. Bockting, Jody L. Herman, Sari K. Reisner

    The study will be the first national probability sample of transgender individuals in the U.S. and thus will be provide a more accurate and detailed picture of the issues faced by transgender people. The study will provide researchers and policy makers with unbiased estimates about demographics, health outcomes and well-being, and health care needs of the transgender population, which will be crucial for designing evidence-based public health and policy interventions.

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    Transgender Parenting: A Review of Existing Research

    By Rebecca L. Stotzer, Jody L. Herman, Amira Hasenbush
    October 2014

    This report reviews the existing research on the prevalence and characteristics of transgender people who are parents, the quality of relationships between transgender parents and their children, outcomes for children with a transgender parent, and the reported needs of transgender parents. Based on their review, the authors recommend further research on the many facets of transgender parents’ lives, including research on the impact of discrimination on transgender parents and their families.

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    Testimony: California Legislature Assembly Bill AB 2501

    By Jordan Blair Woods
    September 2014

    On September 27, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 2501, legislation that prohibits the use of “gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses to reduce murder charges to manslaughter in criminal trials. The passage of this bill makes California the first state in the country to prohibit the use of gay and transgender panic defenses through legislation. AB 2501 ensures that defendants cannot use gay and transgender panic defenses in an attempt to lower a charge from murder to manslaughter or to escape conviction in California.

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    Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents on Population-Based Surveys

    By GenIUSS Group
    September 2014

    Most federally-supported population-based surveys do not include measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents. This report assesses current practices in sex and gender-related population research and offers strategies for establishing consistent, scientifically rigorous procedures for gathering information relevant to the needs and experiences of transgender people and other gender minorities.

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    The Potential Impact of Voter Identification Laws on Transgender Voters in the 2014 General Election

    By Jody L. Herman
    September 2014

    Ten states’ strict voter ID laws may create substantial barriers to voting and possible disenfranchisement for transgender voters in the November 2014 general election. Of the estimated 84,000 transgender people eligible to vote in these states, more than 24,000 individuals who have transitioned have no identification or record that accurately reflect their gender. Transgender people of color, youth, students, people with low incomes, and people with disabilities are likely overrepresented in this group.

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    Transgender Military Service in the United States

    By Gary J. Gates, Jody L. Herman
    May 2014

    An estimated 150,000 transgender individuals have served in the U.S. armed forces, or are currently on active duty. In addition, an estimated 134,000 transgender individuals are veterans or are retired from Guard or Reserve service, 8,800 transgender adults are currently on active duty in the U.S. armed forces, and an estimated 6,700 transgender individuals are serving in the Guard or Reserve forces. Transgender individuals assigned female at birth are nearly three times more likely than all adult women, and those assigned male at birth are 1.6 times more likely than all adult men, to serve.

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    Identifying and Serving LGBTQ Youth: Case Studies of Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees

    By Andrew Burwick, Vanessa Oddo, Laura Durso, Daniel Friend, Gary Gates
    February 2014

    A study published by Mathematica and co-authored by the Williams Institute examines services for LGBTQ runaway and homeless youth (RHY). Focusing on four local agencies receiving grants from the Administration for Children and Families’ RHY Program, it aimed to learn about programs’ strategies for identifying and serving LGBTQ RHY, the challenges programs face in understanding and addressing the needs of this population, and potential areas for future research.

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    Suicide Attempts Among Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Adults

    By Jody L. Herman, Ann P. Haas, Philip L. Rodgers
    January 2014

    New analysis of responses to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) shows that transgender respondents who experienced rejection by family and friends, discrimination, victimization, or violence have a higher risk of attempting suicide. 78 percent of survey respondents who suffered physical or sexual violence at school reported suicide attempts, as did 65 percent of respondents who experienced violence at work.

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    Costs and Benefits of Providing Transition-related Health Care Coverage in Employee Health Benefits Plans: Findings from a Survey of Employers

    By Jody L. Herman
    September 2013

    Employers report zero or very low costs and yet substantial benefits, for them and their employees alike, when they provide transition-related health care coverage in their employee health benefit plans. The report finds that a majority of employers reported that they would encourage other employers to add the coverage, and none would advise against it. Thirty-four employers participated in a survey to describe their transition-inclusive health benefits plans.

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    Local Laws and Government Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity in Maryland

    By Christy Mallory, Sarah Liebowitz
    September 2013

    Gender identity discrimination protections in Maryland are extended through four local ordinances that are inconsistent, and provide more limited remedies than Maryland’s state non-discrimination laws. A gubernatorial executive order that applies only to state employees also exists. Notably, the remedies available under the local ordinances are generally more limited than those provided by state law, especially as it relates to monetary relief available through administrative proceedings, and state case law may further limit those remedies.

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    Provider Perspectives on the Needs of Gay and Bisexual Male and Transgender Youth of Color

    By Laura E. Durso, Angeliki Kastanis, Bianca D.M. Wilson, Ilan H. Meyer
    August 2013

    Los Angeles-area gay, bisexual, and questioning male and transgender (GBTQ) youth of color face individual, organizational, and structural barriers to educational, health and social services. Both schools and service providers struggle to provide institutionally-supported GBTQ-friendly services. And while some individuals within health and social service agencies were equipped to support GBTQ youth, organizations lacked institutional policies, practices or training opportunities to better serve this population.

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    Still Serving in Silence: Transgender Service Members and Veterans in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

    By Jody L. Herman, Jack Harrison-Quintana
    August 2013

    While transgender people serve in the military at a rate double the general population, they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service. Despite the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ this study highlights the ongoing discrimination faced by transgender people who have served in the military. For example, nine percent of those who served reported that they were discharged on account of being transgender or gender non-conforming.

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    Gendered Restrooms and Minority Stress: The Public Regulation of Gender and its Impact on Transgender People’s Lives

    By Jody L. Herman
    June 2013

    Transgender and gender non-conforming people report being denied access to gendered restrooms, and experiencing verbal harassment and physical assault in these spaces at alarming rates. In a Washington, DC- based survey, conducted with the DC Trans Coalition, 70 percent of survey respondents reported experiencing one or more of these problems. The study identifies the impact these negative experiences can have on education, employment, health, and participation in public life.

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    Local Laws and Government Policies Prohibiting Discrimination Based on Gender Identity in New York

    By Christy Mallory, Sarah Liebowitz
    May 2013

    Amending New York’s Human Rights Law to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity would extend protections to an estimated 41 percent of New York’s population, including 23,800 transgender people. Currently, 59 percent of New Yorkers are covered by 12 local ordinances that are inconsistent, limited and, at times, weaker than the state human rights law. Five ordinances do not provide protection in all areas covered by the state human rights law.

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    The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York

    By Jody L. Herman
    April 2013

    Employment and housing discrimination against New York’s transgender residents costs the state millions of dollars each year. These costs include public assistance and housing expenditures, and lost income tax revenue. According to population figures from the 2010 Census, 23,800 New York transgender residents are not covered by local ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public accomodations, and other areas.

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