Big News! Report on the National Center for Transgender Equality Survey

Emilia Dunham, Network Program Associate

by Emilia Dunham

Program Associate, reporting at Creating Change

As you may know, we’re thrilled for the report of the largest ever national survey on transgender people. We are proud to have been involved in the development on inclusive of questions on tobacco and alcohol, but more than that, it’s great to finally have some sort of national data on transgender people at many levels. The information in this survey involves a myriad of issues and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force just released factsheets on those results. You may have seen the data on the October 2010 study but this report deals with what can be done and what this data means.

As you might imagine, there is discrimination in virtually all areas which I will share a little below.

Education: 59% bullied by teachers attempted suicide, which is ridiculous as teachers should be the ones supporting and protecting students. Some were even expelled for their gender identity.

Employment:  For those trans people who have jobs, 90% were harassed or mistreated which is such an astounding number. Many are fired, denied access to bathrooms. We experience extreme poverty with 4x more likely to earn less than $10,000.

Housing: 20% refused housing. Only half as many of us own homes as compared to general population. Many are also denied housing.

Public Accommodations: Half of trans people have been assaulted in public spaces. 1/5 denied government equal treatment.

ID Documents: 40% were harassed when presenting IDs and many are unable to update government ID records.

Health: ½ have had to educate providers just basic Trans 101. Many do not have insurance and experience discrimination. HIV, alcohol, tobacco rates are much higher in trans populations. 41% suicide rate (compared with 1.6% of general population; general population of depressed people only have 20%)


I’ve talked a lot about some absolutely chilling horrifying facts, but it’s important to know there are positive aspects and things we can do about these disparities. Despite high discrimination and harassment, 78% who transitioned at work felt better. Many return to school after transitioning and trans people actually have more education than the general population.

What can we do? Recommendations:

  • We all have a role to play (health providers, employers, police, general public, etc).
  • Policy changes are vital at all levels
  • Research: the data is available online for folks to analyze
  • Share the information with ourselves, our coalitions
  • Keep all areas of our society accountable in whatever you way you can!

For more information on these documents:

“Injustice at Every Turn by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) **Newly released**

National Transgender Discrimination Survey Report on health and health care by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Go to for more information on this study, its uses, the data and implications.

Published by Emilia Dunham, MPP, MBA

Emilia Dunham is currently a Project Manager at MassHealth/Department of Public Health, and formerly the Project Manager of the Life Skills project at The Fenway Institute, an HIV intervention study for young transgender women. Emilia worked at Fenway for 7 years, first as a Quality Control and Regulatory Assistant mainly involved with biomedical HIV prevention trials, before serving as the Program Associate for The Network for LGBT Health Equity, a network instrumental in many national LGBT health policy improvements. She is also involved with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, serving as a Steering Committee member and the Policy Committee Co-Chair, an organization largely responsible for the recent passage of the Trans Rights Bill. Additionally she serves as a member of the Massachusetts Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth, Co-Chair of the Recommendations Committee. Emilia received a Bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University. There she served as President of the LGBTQ student group where she planned programs such as Pride Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and AIDS Week. In addition, she advocated for LGBTQ inclusive policies and programming on campus such as a Gender Neutral Housing program, an LGBTQ Center and the expansion of Women’s Studies to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Emilia recently earned a Master of Public Policy and Master of Business Administration in health policy and management from the Brandeis Heller School School for Social Policy and Management.

5 thoughts on “Big News! Report on the National Center for Transgender Equality Survey

  1. Emily, nice blog! Very informative with lots of facts. I picked up a copy of the report and plan to use it at the University where I work. Thanks for your terrific post.

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