New Study: Genderqueer People Face Unique Patterns of Discrimination and Violence

For Immediate Distribution
April 23, 2012

Laura Rodriguez,, (310) 956-2425
Jody L. Herman, Ph.D., Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow,, (310) 206-0883

LOS ANGELES –  Genderqueer individuals suffer discrimination and violence at similar, and sometimes even higher rates, than transgender-identified individuals, according to a new study, entitled A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, published by the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“This study highlights that genderqueer people are an important and distinct group of those who suffer the impacts of anti-transgender bias,” said the study’s co-author, Jody L. Herman, Ph.D., Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow and Manager of Transgender Research at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute. “This population has unique demographic characteristics and distinct experiences of discrimination,” said Herman.

The findings are based on data from the 2008 National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), a study undertaken by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, where respondents were allowed to write in their own gender if the predetermined categories did not represent them. The majority of these respondents identified as genderqueer, and this study analyzed the experiences of this group in various domains, such as education, employment, and police harassment.

While genderqueer respondents fared the same or better than other NTDS respondents by some measures, they notably fared worse by others. As compared to transgender-identified survey respondents, genderqueer were people more likely to:

•    Suffer physical assaults (32% compared to 25%)
•    Survive sexual assault in K-12 education (16% compared to 11%)
•    Face police harassment (31% compared to 21%)
•    Be unemployed (76% compared to 56%)
•    Avoid healthcare treatment for fear of discrimination (36% compared to 27%).

Demographically, genderqueer respondents had a number of distinguishable characteristics from other NTDS respondents. For example, they were more likely to be:

•    Young (89% compared to 68% were under age 45)
•    People of Color (70% compared to 77% identified as White only)
•    Well-educated (35% compared to 26% completed college)

“This analysis is a significant first step in understanding the characteristics and experiences of genderqueer individuals and invites further study of the bias faced by this important population,” said Herman.

This study was published in the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School, Volume 2, 2011-2012. It was co-authored by Jack Harrison of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute, Jaime Grant of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, and Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Click here for the report page.

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