Research is crucial to identify and address the needs within our own communities. That’s why the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey (“USTS”) matters. Spearheaded by the National Center for Transgender Equality in partnership with several trans advocacy organizations, the USTS is known as the largest survey of transgender people in the United States. This trailblazing questionnaire is for all trans people – both binary and nonbinary – who are ages 16 and older. With questions about employment, income, health, the criminal justice system, and more, all information compiled is publicly shared as an educational resource. From policymakers to schoolteachers, anyone with an internet connection can use the survey to make informed decisions that affect the lives of trans people in the United States.
What’s special about the USTS is that it closely mirrors federal surveys. This way, data can be compared to the general U.S. population. Additionally, since the survey is shared every few years, it can be used as a benchmark to measure how the experiences of trans people change over time. Although it’s had a 7-year hiatus with its last appearance in 2015 (which included a whopping 28,000 survey-takers), the famed questionnaire is back and ready for more airtime.
As past versions of the survey have demonstrated, trans people face pervasive patterns of discrimination and mistreatment in the U.S. Often, severe economic hardships and healthcare disparities occur as a result. Although many argue that public acceptance and visibility is gradually improving in a positive direction, these clear-cut disparities compared to the general population still carry immense implications. The data is clear: Society needs to act. Whether it be in the form of advocacy for nondiscrimination protections, inclusive workplace policies, or other initiatives is up to society to work out next.
What Can You Do?
If you’re transgender or nonbinary and at least 16 years old, you can take the pledge. Taking the pledge doesn’t mandate you to complete the questionnaire; it simply means you’ll receive e-mail updates about the USTS, including when survey enrollment begins. You can consent later if you decide to move forward with it. Transgender people of color, older people, immigrants, and those living with HIV and AIDs are especially encouraged to participate.
If you’re a cisgender ally, you can discuss the pledge on social media. When the survey is released, you can share it with folks in your community!
As the National Center for Transgender Equality states, “More than ever, it’s important to ensure that trans voices will shape the future.”