New Research Estimates 150,000 Transgender Individuals with Military Service

For Immediate Distribution
May 22, 2014

Laura Rodriguez,, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin,, (202) 587-2871

Estimated 0.6% of adults who report current or past service in the US armed forces are transgender

LOS ANGELES— New research conducted by scholars at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law, estimates that nearly 150,000 transgender individuals have served in the U.S. armed forces, or are currently on active duty.

Study co-author and Williams Distinguished Scholar, Gary J. Gates stated, “As Americans spend this Memorial Day weekend honoring the memory of the men and women who have died while in the US armed forces, our analyses offer evidence that transgender individuals are likely among those who have sacrificed their lives in military service.”

The report, titled, “Transgender Military Service in the United States,” estimates that more than 15,000 transgender individuals are on active duty or are serving in the Guard or Reserve forces in the US.  In addition, an estimated 134,000 transgender individuals are veterans or are retired from Guard or Reserve service.

Study co-author and Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow, Jody Herman, notes, “Our analyses are consistent with other research suggesting that transgender individuals are more likely than the general population to serve in the US military.”

Other findings from the analyses show that:
•  An estimated 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.
•  An estimated 0.6% of adults who report current or past service in the US armed forces are transgender.
•  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.

The estimates are derived using data from the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Click here for the full study.

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