New analysis shows startling levels of discrimination against Latino/a transgender people
WASHINGTON, Dec. 5 — Latino and Latina transgender and gender non-conforming people face some of the highest levels of discrimination of all transgender people according to a new analysis released today, Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Latino/a Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
This report by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is a supplement to the groundbreaking national study, Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which was published in February and revealed widespread discrimination experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people across the board.
A key finding of the original report was that, even given the unconscionable levels of discrimination against all transgender people in the U.S., people of color including Latinos/as experienced heightened levels of discrimination and had worse outcomes than the sample overall. Additionally, the findings reveal that immigration status also plays a role in these outcomes with non-citizen Latino/a respondents often reporting even worse experiences.
“This study shows how devastating multiple discrimination is for Latino and Latina transgender people,” says LULAC Executive Director Brent Wilkes. “We are committed to ensuring that all people, regardless of race, sexual orientation and gender identity are respected and treated fairly. We call upon other Latino groups to join us as we fight for the right of transgender people to live without fear of discrimination, harassment or violence. We will not stand idly by in a society where equality is not within everyone’s reach.”
Among the key findings from the report:
- Latino/a transgender people had a very high unemployment rate at 20 percent, higher than the overall transgender sample (14 percent) and nearly three times the rate of the general population at the time the survey was fielded (7 percent).
- Latino/a transgender people often live in extreme poverty with 28 percent reporting a household income of less than $10,000/year. This is nearly double the rate for transgender people of all races (15 percent), over five times the general Latino/a population rate (5 percent), and seven times the general U.S. population rate (4 percent). The rate for Latino/a non-citizen respondents was 43 percent.
- Latino/a transgender people were affected by HIV in devastating numbers. One in 12 Latino/a respondents was HIV-positive and an additional 10 percent reported that they did not know their status.
- Forty-seven percent of Latino/a respondents reported having attempted suicide.
“This report is a critical call to action,” says Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “The numbers make clear the way that racism, anti-immigrant and anti-transgender bias all work together, often with devastating results in the lives of Latino and Latina transgender people. We must ensure that we continue to work toward an LGBT movement that prioritizes immigration, racial and economic justice.”
Also among the findings:
- Latino/a respondents who attended school as transgender people reported alarming rates of harassment (77 percent), physical assault (36 percent) and sexual assault (13 percent) in K-12; harassment was so severe that it led 21 percent to leave school. Nine percent were also expelled due to bias.
- Twenty-seven percent of Latino/a respondents said they had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, nearly four times the rate of the general U.S. population (7.4 percent).
- Twenty-three percent of Latino/a transgender people reported being refused medical care due to bias.
“This report paints a devastating picture of the treatment of our Latino and Latina transgender brothers and sisters who, on a daily basis, endure extreme poverty, unemployment and discrimination just to live out their full lives,” says Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. “We have long known that race and citizenship status have a very real impact on transgender people. And for the first time, we can identify in specific terms, what these painful realities are. Documented or not, these numbers tell us that the LGBT movement must have an immigrant-inclusive agenda.”