Working together with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) and the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) have produced a follow-up to Injustice at Every Turn called A Look at Latino/a Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (also in Spanish).
Earlier this year NGLTF and NCTE had joined with the National Black Justice Coalition to produce A Look at Black Respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
The present report is based on the experiences of the 402 respondents who described themselves as Latino/a only or Latino/a and multiracial, this out of the 6450 transgender respondents total. 332 of the Latin respondents identified themselves as US citizens and 56 as non-citizens. The sample size is getting too small for accurate analysis but the fact that undocumented immigrants face higher rates of discrimination in general should also extend to Latino/as in particular.
When this report uses the phrase, “due to bias,” it refers to questions on the survey that asked specifically about respondents’ experiences of anti-transgender discrimination. Due to the robust participation of Latino/a respondents, the study also demonstrates the complex interactions of anti-transgender discrimination with racism, classism, and bias against Latino immigrants.
1. The combination of anti-transgender bias and on-going institutional and individual racism is especially devastating for Latino/a transgender people and other people of color.
2. Non-citizens respondents were the most vulnerable to harassment, abuse and violence.
3. Latino/a transpeople often live in extreme poverty: 28% reported a household income of less than $10,000 per year. This is nearly double the rate of transgender people as a whole (15%) and 5 times the rate for all Latino/a people in the US (5%). The rate for the general US population is 4%. Non-citizen respondents reported a rate of 43%.
4. One in twelve Latino/a respondents (8.44%) were HIV-positive. An additional 10.23% did not know their status. The HIV+ rate of all transpeople is 2.64%, for the general Latino/a population is 0.50% and for the general US population is 0.60%. The rate for non-citizen respondents was 23.08%.
5. 47% of Latino/a respondents reported having attempted suicide, compared to 41% of all transpeople and 1.6% of the general population.
6. 77% of respondents who had attended school as a transperson had been harassed in K-12, while 36% had been physically assaulted and 13% sexually assaulted. Harassment was so severe that 21% left school. 9% were expelled.
7. Respondents who were harassed and abused by teachers in K-12 show dramatically worse health and material well-being than those who were not. Peer harassment and abuse did similar damage.
8. The unemployment rate was 20% for Latino/a respondents, compared with 14% for the overall sample and the 7.0% US rate at the time of the survey. 26% of Latino/a respondents had lost a job due to bias and 47% were not hired due to bias. The rate of job loss for non-citizens was 42%.
9. 54% of Latino/a transpeople are harassed, 16% physically assaulted and 14% sexually assaulted at work. For non-citizens those percentages are, respectively, 57%, 47% and 38%.
10. Unsurprisingly, given the data above, 34% of Latino/a transpeople reported being compelled to sell drugs or do sex work for income at some point in their lives.
11. 29% of Latino/a transpeople reported having been refused a home or apartment and 15% reported having been evicted due to bias. For non-citizens the numbers were 46% and 26%.
12. 27% of the sample had experienced homelessness at some point of their lives, which is 4 times the rate of the general US population.
13. Only 15% of Latino/a transpeople own their home, compared to 32% of transpeople in general and 67% of the general US population (pre-mortgage collapse figures). Minority home ownership as reported by HUD was 49.7% at the time of the survey.
14. 23% of our sample reported having been denied medical care due to bias. 36% reported having postponed medical care due to fear of encountering discrimination.
Devastating, but not unexpected data.