Press

Congressional briefing spotlights findings of Injustice at Every Turn

Date: 
May 17, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
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WASHINGTON, May 16 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) today sponsored a Capitol Hill briefing on key findings from the Task Force and NCTE's groundbreaking new report, Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. The briefing was held on behalf of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.

The study is the largest ever done on the prevalence of discrimination against transgender people. It reveals that transgender and gender non-conforming people face injustice in many places, including in school systems that promise to shelter and educate; in harsh and exclusionary workplaces; at the grocery store, at the hotel front desk, in doctors’ offices and at emergency rooms, among other settings. Transgender people of color generally experienced the highest rates of discrimination in all areas of life.

Task Force and NCTE staff shared some of the startling findings of the report, including:

  • Respondents reported alarmingly high rates of harassment and discrimination while in grades K-12: harassment (78 percent), physical assault (35 percent) and sexual assault (12 percent); 51 percent of those who were verbally harassed, physically or sexually assaulted, or were expelled because they were transgender or gender non-conforming, reported having attempted suicide.
  • Direct housing discrimination — 19 percent reported having been refused a home or apartment and 11 percent reported being evicted because of their gender identity/expression.
  • Double the rate of unemployment — survey respondents experienced unemployment at twice the rate of the general population at the time of the survey, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate.
  • Harassment, mistreatment or discrimination: 90 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job or took actions like hiding who they are to avoid it.

Speakers at the briefing were Mara Keisling, NCTE executive director; Stacey Long, federal legislative director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Lisa Mottet, Transgender Civil Rights Project director at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; Jack Harrison, policy analyst, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; and Owen Smith, a Maryland resident who experienced housing and employment discrimination on the basis of his gender identity.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.