The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Roberta Sklar, Communications Director
(Office) 646.358.1465 (Cell) 917.704.6358

Comprehensive National Survey on Transgender Discrimination Launched by NCTE and Task Force


In the wake of one of the most violent years on record of assaults
on transgender people, the National Center for Transgender Equality
(NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force have teamed up on a
comprehensive national survey to collect data on discrimination against
transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodations,
healthcare, education, family life and criminal justice.

To date, in 2008, several young gender non-conforming people of
color have been murdered, including California junior high school
student Lawrence King, who was shot in public during the school
day. King's murder, and the murders of Simmie Williams in South
Carolina and Angie Zapata in Greeley, Colo., come in a year in which we
are still working to include transgender provisions in a federal bill
to protect lesbian, gay and bisexual workers from discrimination in

Hate crimes against transgender people suggest multiple points of
vulnerability, which can compound each other: discrimination in
employment may lead to unstable housing situations that in turn can
leave transgender people at the mercy of public programs and public
officials who may not respond respectfully or appropriately to
them. These stressors add burdens in a healthcare system that is often
unprepared for transgender people's needs. The list goes on. "We know
that transgender people face discrimination on multiple fronts," said
Mara Keisling, executive director of NCTE. "This data will help us sort
out the combination of forces that leave transgender people vulnerable
to unemployment, homelessness and violence."

Jaime Grant, director of the Task Force Policy Institute, noted,
"There is so little concrete data on the needs and risks associated
with the widespread discrimination we see in the lives of the
transgender people we know. This data will help point the way to an
appropriate policy agenda to ensure that transgender people have a fair
chance to contribute their talents in the workplace, in our educational
systems and in our communities."

NCTE and the Task Force have partnered with Pennsylvania State
University's Center for the Study of Higher Education to collect and
analyze the data. Applying rigorous academic standards to the
investigation will strengthen any case made to legislators, policy
makers, healthcare providers and others whose decisions impact the
lives of transgender people. A national team of experts in survey
research and transgender issues developed the questionnaire, which can
be completed online at

Keisling notes: "This is an absolutely critical national effort. We
urge all transgender and gender non-conforming people to take the
survey to help guide us in making better laws and policies that will
improve the quality of life for all transgender people. We need
everyone's voice in this, everyone's participation."

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!