Higher rates of food insecurity, inadequate or uncertain access to adequate food due to insufficient money or other resources,have been observed among LGBT as compared to non-LGBT people. However, little research has focused exclusively on food access for transgender people. This study aims to fill gaps in knowledge about current experiences of food insecurity among transgender people. More specifically, using data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau on the Household Pulse Survey between July 21 to October 11, 2021, this study analyzes food insufficiency, defined as sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the last 7 days. In this study, food insufficiency was three times as common among transgender as cisgender people (25.3% vs. 8.3%).
Food insufficiency was much more common among some groups than others. Nearly six times as many transgender people of color as cisgender White people (35.8% vs 6.0%) experienced food insufficiency at some point during the summer or early fall of 2021. More transgender adults with a bachelor’s degree experienced food insufficiency than cisgender adults with a high school degree or less (22.1% vs 13.5%, respectively).
Pulse Survey data were further analyzed to provide information about current socioeconomic status, food resource utilization (e.g., SNAP, charitable food resources), and self-reported reasons for insufficient food among transgender adults (0.7%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.6, 0.8 of the analytic sample) and their cisgender counterparts. Only 30.7% of income-eligible transgender people were enrolled in SNAP. In addition, almost twice as many transgender people as cisgender people reported other barriers to accessing food, including that they could not get out to buy food (24.1% and 12.3%, respectively) and safety concerns (22.0% and 11.8%, respectively). Details about study methods, as well as tables, are included in the Appendix.