Transgender people who are sexual minorities are more likely to be harassed, new study shows

For Immediate Distribution
March 22, 2016

Contact:
Lauren Jow, jow@law.ucla.edu, 310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — Transgender people who identified as sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual or a different sexual minority) in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey experienced a greater likelihood of encountering some forms of discrimination than those who identified as straight, according to a new study by Jody L. Herman, Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, published in Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities.

Furthermore, more than three-fourths of transgender respondents identified as sexual minorities – only 22 percent identified as straight.

The study, titled “LGB within the T: Sexual Orientation in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey and Implications for Public Policy,” explores how respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey identify their sexual orientation, how those responses differ based on demographic variables (e.g. age, race, and gender), and how respondents’ experiences of discrimination and outcomes differ based on sexual orientation.

Key findings from the report include:

• Sexual minority respondents were more likely than straight respondents to have experienced harassment on the job (51 percent vs. 46 percent), at school (80 percent vs. 71 percent), and in a place of public accommodation (55 percent vs. 44 percent).

• Sexual minority respondents had a higher prevalence of suicide attempts than straight respondents (42 percent vs. 36 percent).

• Sexual minority respondents were more likely than straight respondents to be without health insurance (20 percent vs. 15 percent) and to have postponed getting medical care due to discrimination from doctors  or other health care providers (29 percent vs. 25 percent).

• Sexual minority respondents experienced family rejection at a significantly higher rate than straight respondents (59 percent versus 53 percent).

• In some areas, straight respondents fared worse:

  • The prevalence of HIV among straight respondents was nearly double that of sexual minority respondents (4.03 percent vs. 2.16 percent).
  • A significantly higher percentage of straight respondents reported leaving school because the harassment they experienced was so bad (17 percent vs. 12 percent).

Edited by Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Sarah Tobias, Trans Studies: The Challenge to Hetero/Homo Normativities is an interdisciplinary essay collection on transgender scholarship and public policy. It is available for purchase in print or as an ebook from Rutgers University Press.

Click here to view an abstract and tables from the report.