The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) was conducted to examine the experiences of transgender people in the United States. The USTS covered topics that reflected the lives and experiences of trans people and was designed to examine specific issues that impact trans people, such as unemployment and underemployment, housing, health care, HIV/AIDS, disabilities, immigration, sex work, and police interactions. Over 27,000 respondents participated in the survey, making it the largest survey ever conducted of transgender people in the United States. The full report from the 2015 USTS is available here.
This fall, the National Center for Transgender Equality has begun publishing state-by-state reports, breaking down the survey results based on the home state of the respondents. State reports that have been released so far can be accessed here.
There were 1,171 Pennsylvania residents who completed the 2015 USTS. The Pennsylvania USTS report includes the following sections: Income and Employment Status, Employment and the Workplace, Education, Housing, Homelessness, and Shelter Access, Public Accommodations, Restrooms, Police Interactions, Health, and Identity Documents.
When it came to income and employment status, 11% reported that they were unemployed and 31% were living in poverty. For employment and the workplace, of the 1,171 respondents, 16% of them reported they lost a job before because of their gender identity or expression. For those who had a job in the last year, 14% reported verbal harassment, 1% were physically attacked, and 1% were sexually assaulted.
As for housing, homelessness, and shelter access, 21% of respondents reported they have experienced some form of housing discrimination including eviction and being denied a home or apartment because of their identity. In this section as well it stated, “22% of respondents who experienced homelessness in the past year avoided staying in a shelter because they feared being mistreated as a transgender person.”
With regards to health, 24% of participants reported that in the last year they had problems with their insurance related to being transgender. These problems included being denied coverage for gender transition or being denied services because they are transgender. 30% of the respondents reported at least one negative experience with a health care provider such as being refused treatment, being verbally harassed, or physically or sexually assaulted.
The information gathered from the USTS is important for the LGBT community, LGBT organizations, and policy makers to continue to strive for changes and provide the best services and education for those in the LGBT community.
If you would like more information about the Pennsylvania report or any other states you can find them at http://www.ustranssurvey.org/report.