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National Transgender Discrimination Survey, [United States], 2008-2009 (ICPSR 37888)

Version Date: Nov 19, 2020 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Jaime M. Grant, Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership (ACSJL) at Kalamazoo College; Lisa Mottet, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.); Justin Edward Tanis, National Center for Transgender Equality (U.S.); Jack Harrison, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute (U.S.); Jody Herman, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.); Mara Keisling, National Center for Transgender Equality (U.S.)

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37888.v1

Version V1

This study brings to light what is both patently obvious and far too often dismissed from the human rights agenda. Transgender and gender non-conforming people face injustice at every turn: in childhood homes, in school systems that promise to shelter and educate, in harsh and exclusionary workplaces, at the grocery store, the hotel front desk, in doctors' offices and emergency rooms, before judges and at the hands of landlords, police officers, health care workers and other service providers.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality are grateful to each of the 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming study participants who took the time and energy to answer questions about the depth and breadth of injustice in their lives. A diverse set of people, from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, completed online or paper surveys. This tremendous gift has created the first 360-degree picture of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. and provides critical data points for policymakers, community activists and legal advocates to confront the appalling realities documented here and press the case for equity and justice.

These data provide information on discrimination in every major area of life, including housing, employment, health and health care, education, public accommodation, family life, criminal justice and government identity documents, and demographic information such as citizenship, race, ethnicity, employment, and income. In virtually every setting, the data underscores the urgent need for policymakers and community leaders to change their business-as-usual approach and confront the devastating consequences of anti-transgender bias.

Demographic information includes race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, education, income, U.S citizenship, household size, and relationship status.

The public-use dataset was created in an earlier version of Stata that truncated write-in responses after 244 characters. The non-truncated write-in responses, plus Q10 zip codes and the essay responses to Q70, are included in the restricted-use dataset.

Grant, Jaime M., Mottet, Lisa, Tanis, Justin Edward, Harrison, Jack, Herman, Jody, and Keisling, Mara. National Transgender Discrimination Survey, [United States], 2008-2009. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-11-19. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37888.v1

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This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, some of the data files in this collection are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain these restricted files researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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2008 -- 2009
2008-09-11 -- 2009-03-03
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Every day, transgender and gender non-conforming people bear the brunt of social and economic marginalization due to discrimination based on their gender identity or expression. Advocates confront this reality regularly working with transgender people who have lost housing, been fired from jobs, experienced mistreatment and violence, or been unable to access the health care they need. Too often, policymakers, service providers, the media and society at large have dismissed or discounted the needs of transgender and gender non-conforming people, and a lack of hard data on the scope of anti-transgender discrimination has hampered the work to make substantive policy changes to address these needs.

In 2008, The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force formed a ground-breaking research partnership to address this problem, launching the first comprehensive national transgender discrimination study. The data collected brings into clear focus the pervasiveness and overwhelming collective weight of discrimination that transgender and gender non-conforming people endure.

Over eight months, a team of community-based advocates, transgender leaders, researchers, lawyers and LGBT policy experts came together to create an original survey instrument. In the end, over 7,500 people responded to the 70-question survey. Over four months, the research team fielded its 70-question online survey through direct contacts with more than 800 transgender-led or transgender-serving community-based organizations in the U.S. The researchers also contacted possible participants through 150 active online community listserves. The vast majority of respondents took the survey online, through a URL established at Pennsylvania State University.

Additionally, the researchers distributed 2,000 paper surveys to organizations serving hard-to-reach populations -- including rural, homeless, and low-income transgender and gender non-conforming people, conducting phone follow-up for three months. With only $3,000 in funding for outreach provided by the Network for LGBT Health Equity, formerly the Network for LGBT Tobacco Control, the researchers decided to pay stipends to workers in homeless shelters, legal aid clinics, mobile health clinics and other service settings to host "survey parties" to encourage respondents whose economic vulnerability, housing insecurity, or literacy level might pose particular barriers to participation. This effort resulted in the inclusion of approximately 500 paper surveys in the final sample.

Both the paper and online surveys were available in both English and Spanish. For additional information about the questionnaire itself, please see the Survey Instrument chapter of the report.

The survey was fielded from September 11, 2008 through March 3, 2009. The sample was recruited using convenience sampling techniques to target transgender and gender non-conforming people, including the use of venue-based sampling and snowball sampling. Recruitment for the survey was designed to maximize responses from those who identify as transgender or gender non-conforming in any way. The final sample only includes those who identified as transgender or gender non-conforming in some way.

For purposes of this study, "transgender" was defined broadly to include those who transition from one gender to another (transsexuals), and those who may not, including genderqueer people, cross-dressers, those who are androgynous, and those whose gender non-conformity is a part of their identity. Because the term "transgender" is understood in various ways that may or may not include these groups of people, broader gender non-conforming language was used to ensure broad participation in the survey.

The survey was announced through a network of more than 800 transgender-led or transgender-serving community-based organizations in the United States. The survey was also announced through 150 active online community listservs. Two thousand paper surveys were made available to organizations that serve hard-to-reach populations -- including rural, homeless, and low-income transgender and gender non-conforming people. Phone outreach efforts to these organizations were conducted for three months while the survey was in the field.

The organizations that were part of the network to announce the survey were organizations from across the United States that served a variety of purposes. Organizations who participated were state-level and local-level political groups, social groups, support groups, college-based student groups, groups organized around a particular race or ethnicity, groups organized around a particular religious affiliation, groups organized around a particular gender identity, health organizations, and groups that provide direct service to those who are homeless from the LGBT community. Political and social groups comprised the largest portion of organizations that participated.

The final study sample includes 6,456 valid respondents from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The study's geographic distribution generally mirrors that of the U.S. general population. Exactly 6,021 of these respondents submitted their surveys online and 435 respondents submitted paper surveys.

Transgender and gender non-conforming people in the United States in 2008 and 2009

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2020-11-19

2020-11-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
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Notes

  • Curation and dissemination of this study is provided by the institutional members of ICPSR, and data is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. To determine if you are at a member institution, check the list of ICPSR member institutions, or learn more about becoming a member.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.