Landmark Survey Shows, Yes, Trans People Are Harassed in Bathrooms

A lot of people don’t give using the restroom much of a thought. They go in, do their thing, they leave. Hopefully, they wash their hands sometime in the process.

But for many transgender folks, a future trip to the bathroom is foreboding.

A groundbreaking survey released Thursday from the National Center for Transgender Equality shows that 60 percent of trans Americans avoid public restrooms out of fear of confrontation.

A third of respondents cut down on food and water to avoid stopping by the bathroom. Nearly 10 percent report getting a urinary tract infection or another kidney-related issue because of holding it.

In the meantime, social conservatives continue to portray trans peopleor more accurately, trans womenas predators.

In reality, trans folks are more likely to face harassment and attacks themselves.

No one should have to deal with this, especially such a small, vulnerable group. After all, as politicians and citizens frantically push bigoted bathroom bills, transgender Americans remain a mere .6 percent of the population.

The survey also found that other individuals in the bathroom verbally harassed one in eight trans people in the last year. One in 10 of the respondents weren’t even allowed to enter a restroom. Some reported getting sexually assaulted and physically attacked.

“Trans people have been in danger in the bathrooms. These numbers are just astronomically high,” says Mara Keisling, director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, to Reuters. “This is what’s really happening in bathrooms.”

Other smaller studies back the new data up. Jody Herman at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute surveyed nearly 100 trans and gender-nonconforming people in Washington, D.C.

“About 70 percent of the sample reported experiencing being denied access to restrooms, being harassed while using restrooms and even experiencing some forms of physical assault,” Herman tells NPR.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey was the biggest of its kind. Researchers asked nearly 30,000 respondents about the rampant violence and discrimination they face in everything from health care to schools to church to work.

When about a third of trans people live in poverty and nearly half have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, bathrooms are just one headache.

Photo Credit: Ted Eytan

115 comments

Marie W
Marie W6 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Carl R
Carl R7 months ago

thanks

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Janet B
Janet B7 months ago

Thanks

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Leong S
Leong S7 months ago

Thanks for sharing

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Sierra B
Sierra B7 months ago

love my trans friends.

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Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle7 months ago

I like the University of Bristol Sigh. Trans people are one of the most discriminated against groups in the country.

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Danuta W
Danuta W7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Marija K
Marija K7 months ago

Sex is biological. Gender is a social construct. Sex and gender are NOT interchangeable..

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Carl Nielsen
Carl Nielsen7 months ago

Oxymoron ? How?

What sort of genitalia a person is born with is a fact of biology.

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Marija K
Marija K7 months ago

Carl Nielsen:

''biological gender''

--Oxymoron.

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