Study Reveals Hardships of Latinx Transgender People in the U.S.
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November 07, 2017 11:45 AM

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The LGBTQ community often faces discrimination due to their sexual orientation and gender identity. A new report highlights the specific struggles unique to the Latinx transgender community in the United States.

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the TransLatin@ Coalition built upon the NCTE’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), which is the most in-depth survey of the transgender community in the country, finding that trans people of color endured greater hardships than their white counterparts.

According to the results, 21 percent of the survey’s Latinx trans participants were unemployed compared to 12 percent of the white trans participants. That’s three times higher than the national average. 43 percent of Latinx transgender people reported living in poverty compared to 12 percent of the general U.S. population. 48 percent of Latinx trans participants reported having been denied equal treatment or service, verbal harassment, and physical attacks in the past year because of their gender identity. 66 percent of trans Latinx people reported mistreatment by police or other law enforcement officials in the past year in contrast to 55 percent of white trans people.


“The full report of the U.S. Transgender Survey showed us some incredibly important data that supplemented information we already had about the experiences of transgender people in the United States,” NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said in a written statement. “Now, this report will allow advocates to do similar work that is targeted specifically at improving the lives of Latino/a transgender people.”

The report showed other key findings: 59 percent of Latinx participants would feel somewhat or very uncomfortable asking the police for help; 1.6 percent of Latinx trans people are living with HIV, which is five times higher than the national average; and 48 percent of Latinx subjects reported having been sexually assaulted in their lives, 14 of which reported being assaulted in the past year.

Sexual assault in lifetime (by gender)

92 percent of the survey subjects were American citizens; three percent were residents; two percent were undocumented residents; one percent were Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, and another one percent were visa holders. Participants lived in 48 states, the District of Columbia, and in Puerto Rico. 35 percent of them identified their gender as non-binary; 31 percent as transgender women; 33 percent as transgender men; and one percent as crossdressers.

Living in poverty

The report highlights discriminatory patterns against the Latinx transgender community, as well as the stress and anxiety it causes them: 45 percent saying that they had experienced serious psychological distress in the month before taking the survey.

“This report will provide people the opportunity to better understand our needs so that policymakers can ensure that those needs are met,” said President of TransLatin@ Coaltion, Bamby Salcedo, of the findings in the written statement. “This information will support our collective work to create the changes that need to happen for our community to be in a better place within our society.”

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