Black Trans People Face Higher Rates of Discrimination
Black trans and gender non-conforming people are especially blighted by discrimination according to a new report, Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Black Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, by the National Black Justice Coalition together with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).
The report is a supplement to the groundbreaking national study Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey which was published in February. The study, a first-of-its-kind, clearly demonstrated the disproportionately high rates of discrimination trans people suffer.
Now this new report shows that while discrimination is undeniably pervasive across the entire sample, anti-trans bias coupled with racism has a particularly devastating effect and means that trans people of color are especially vulnerable.
Watch the video introduction to these issues below:
More from the Task Force press release:
Among the key findings of the analysis released today:
– Black transgender people had an extremely high unemployment rate at 26 percent, two times the rate of the overall transgender sample and four times the rate of the general population.
– A startling 41 percent of Black respondents said they had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, more than five times the rate of the general U.S. population.
– Black transgender people lived in extreme poverty with 34 percent reporting a household income of less than $10,000 per year. This is more than twice the rate for transgender people of all races (15 percent), four times the general Black population rate (9 percent), and eight times the general U.S. population rate (4 percent).
– Black transgender people were affected by HIV in devastating numbers. More than one-fifth of respondents were living with HIV (20.23 percent), compared to a rate of 2.64 percent for transgender respondents of all races, 2.4 percent for the general Black population, and 0.60 percent of the general U.S. population.
“From education to employment and housing discrimination, from police brutality to health care disparities, Black transgender people are suffering at extremely high rates due to bigotry and transphobia,” said National Black Justice Coalition Executive Director Sharon Lettman-Hicks. “Nearly half of all Black transgender respondents report being harassed at work and at school. Twenty-six percent are unemployed and 34 percent report annual incomes of less than $10,000 per year. These numbers are appalling and these living conditions are unacceptable for any human being — gender conforming or not. NBJC is committed to bringing visibility to the gross inequities faced by our transgender brothers and sisters, and to creating a world where gender non-conforming individuals can work, love and seek medical attention without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence.”
Also among the findings:
– Half of Black respondents who attended school expressing a transgender identity or gender non-conformity reported facing harassment.
– Nearly half (49 percent) of Black respondents reported having attempted suicide.
– On a positive note, many Black transgender people who were out to their families reported that their families were as strong as before they came out. Black respondents reported this experience at a higher rate than the overall sample of transgender respondents.
The Task Force and the NTCE say this report clearly demonstrates the need for legislative action to ensure that the rights of trans citizens are being protected. In many states it is still legal to fire someone on grounds of their gender identity and expression. A federal, trans-inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) could change that. To find out more about ENDA please click here.
Image taken from the report for illustrative purposes under fair use terms, no infringement intended.