Great news for transgender and nonbinary Oregonians — and data geeks as well. The National Center for Transgender Equality has launched the 2022 U.S. Trans Survey. This aims to be the largest trans survey in history, offering up a detailed view of the lives and experiences of the trans community.
The U.S. Trans Survey is a vital source of information on the well-being of the trans community. It helps fill the gap created by the failure of the government to collect data about this community — a community under attack across much of the country..
This gap in data exists despite requests by federal agencies to include questions on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in the Census and the American Community Survey. This is in part due to the fact that the Trump administration blocked questions concerning SOGI data from being added to these forms. The Census Bureau only recently added SOGI questions to the Household Pulse Survey that tracked conditions throughout the pandemic.
Excluding the trans population from government datasets makes it that much harder to understand the reality and challenges facing this community, as well as to advocate for policies that meet the community’s needs. It is difficult to argue for increased resources, or for the creation of population-specific services and supports, when the scope of the need hasn’t been quantified. Decision-makers often look to quantitative research and hard numbers when deciding what policies to prioritize and where funding should flow. For example, the federal government uses census data to allocate hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
In the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey, we learned that 37 percent of respondents in Oregon had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Nearly 30 percent had been fired, denied a promotion, or not hired at all because of their gender identity. And 33 percent had experienced issues with their health insurance coverage because of their gender identity — including being denied care or coverage for routine care.
You can help make this the largest U.S. Trans Survey yet. If you are trans or nonbinary, please consider filling out the survey, or share with your trans friends and siblings.