Members of the transgender community experience higher rates of homelessness, food insecurity, healthcare issues, and violence than cisgender people, according to a study published in the Harvard Public Health Review.
“What struck me the most was the amount of financial burden that folks have is food insecurity and violence exposure,” said Ashley Mayfaire, co-founder of TransSOCIAL, who authored the study.
TransSOCIAL is a South Florida-based non-profit that offers services and resources to the trans community, including name changes, support groups, and gender marker assistance.
Mayfaire said that the goal of the study was to demonstrate that “trans-led organizations and trans expertise exist and can produce very comprehensive reports on their own community.”
Data from the TransSOCIAL study shows that 60% of participants have reported violence due to their gender. A study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law concurs, stating that, “transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault.”
Mayfaire hopes to create more affordable housing for trans individuals and to offer employment support so they can afford housing and food.
“I just wanted people to sit with that a little bit and realize that all of this is adding up to real, violent experiences in trans people’s lives,” Mayfaire said.
According to the American Psychological Association, “[a] study of transgender adults in the United States found that participants were nearly 4 times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 per year compared to the general population.”
“Transgender adults were three times as likely as cisgender people to experience food insecurity this year, according to new data analyzed by the Williams Institute at UCLA,” reports the Washington Post. The data, collected in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, showed that more than a quarter of trans adults in the U.S. report some sort of food insecurity, compared to just 8 percent of cisgender adults.
One important resource the trans community needs adequate access to is the healthcare community. Transitioning and maintaining health requires a lot of assistance from doctors and therapists. Yet according to TransSOCIAL’s research, only 27% of the trans community has health insurance.
Twenty-one percent of the trans community does not have access to a primary care physician, and 29% do not have access to mental health resources.
Mayfaire mentioned that follow-up data will be released in the next year to determine how trans people are handling their situation and the impact TransSOCIAL has made on their lives. She also says they will be releasing data from people who have never engaged in their services, as the recently published report includes responses from current and future clients of TransSOCIAL.