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Majority of transgender Americans now avoid public bathrooms

Nick Duffy December 8, 2016

A majority of transgender people in the US are now scared to use a public bathroom, research has found.

The National Center for Transgender Equality today released the findings of the largest ever survey of trans people in the US, which reached 27,715 respondents from across the US.

The survey revealed the shocking effect of the anti-trans bathroom war waged by evangelicals and Republicans in a bid to roll back LGBT rights reforms.

It found that 59% have avoided bathrooms in the last year because they feared confrontations in public restrooms at work, at school, or in other places.

The fear of using public bathrooms is so severe that 31% have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom.

According to the survey, the fears of being attacked or confronted in the bathroom are well-founded. 12% of trans people said they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the past year, while 24% report that someone told them they were challenged over their choice of toilet.

9% report being denied access to the appropriate bathroom.

The report shone light on some of the shocking issues faced by the trans community more generally.

Trans people face huge barriers in employment, with the unemployment rate at 15%, three timed higher than the general population.

One-third (30%) of respondents have been homeless, 12% in the past year. Forty percent (40%) have attempted suicide in their lifetime, nearly nine times the rate in the general population (4.6%).

One in ten (10%) respondents who were out to their immediate family reported that a family member was violent towards them because they were transgender.
One in twelve (8%) were kicked out of the house, and one in ten (10%) ran away from home.

Only 11% of respondents reported that all of their IDs had the name and gender they preferred.

A staggering 39% of respondents were currently experiencing serious psychological distress.

NCTE executive director Mara Keisling said: “Despite achieving some significant policy advances and increased visibility over the past few years, transgender people continue to face enormous obstacles in almost every area of their lives. Discrimination and violence threaten transgender people’s ability to have even the basics: food, a place to sleep, or a job.

“This survey demonstrates that there is a lot of work ahead to achieve simple parity and full equality for transgender people.”

More: US

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