LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — And that’s a conservative estimate. Previous numbers ran from 500,000 to 700,000 or up to 0.3 percent of the population. Now it’s 0.6, or nearly 1 trans person per 140 people. This according to The Williams Institute at the University of California-Los Angeles.
The 1.4 million number also smashes a psychological barrier. A researcher, Gary J. Gates commented: “There’s a saying: ‘You don’t count in policy circles until someone counts you’.” The new number may have an impact on policymakers serving the trans population.
In addition to better access to data, the increase may be the result of more young adults openly admitting that they are trans — something older generations were less likely to do in the past. In addition, more awareness and trans accepting states added to those higher numbers.
Estimates for trans youth do not exist as researchers continue to look for reliable means of tracking and tabulations. Jenn Burleton, the executive director of Oregon’s TransActive Gender Center says: “. . . based on what we see at conferences, based on other demographic surveys and independent research, we still think it’s a pretty dramatic underestimate of trans people. . . . Accurately counting the number of transgender people — including the young people still navigating primary school — is an important step in combating the hatred transgender people face.” A Portland Public School survey suggested upwards of 3% of students were somewhere on the transgender spectrum — a number considerably higher than the Williams Institute study.
Surprising, Florida and Texas, states with poor employment and housing protections for trans people, drew huge numbers of transgender residents — 100,300 and 125,350. The high level of misery and discrimination resulting from a lack trans protection laws makes Texas one of the worst states for trans people according to the Transgender Law Center.
Researchers indicated that the next few years will bring better data resulting in a more accurate, and perhaps higher, transgender count.
Sources: NY Times, The Daily Dot, and The Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/transgender-health/2016/06/estimated_number_of_transgende.html
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