by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editor
Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander Transgender and gender-nonconforming people face high levels of discrimination, according to an analysis released July 19.
Titled Injustice at Every Turn: A Look at Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander (API) Respondents in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the report is a supplement to the comprehensive national study released last year, Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. That study revealed widespread discrimination experienced by Transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Both reports were authored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the National Center for Transgender Equality, and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA).
A key finding of the full report was that even given the high levels of discrimination against all Transgender people in the U.S., people of color experienced heightened levels of discrimination and had worse outcomes than the sample overall. API Transgender people faced a combination of anti-Transgender bias and structural and interpersonal racism.
'From employment discrimination to education to health care disparities, Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander Transgender people are suffering at high rates due to bigotry, racism, and Transphobia,' said Anjali Chaudhry, NQAPIA board member. 'This is unacceptable. NQAPIA is committed to bringing visibility to these inequities and to creating a world where Transgender and gender-nonconforming people can go about their daily lives without fear of discrimination, harassment, or violence.'
The new supplemental analysis was released at the 2012 NQAPIA Conference, which kicked off July 19 in Washington, D.C. Among the findings:
* API Transgender people had a high unemployment rate at 12%, nearly twice the rate of the general population at the time the survey was fielded (7%).
* API Transgender people often live in extreme poverty, with 18% reporting an annual household income of less than $10,000. This is higher than the rate for Transgender people of all races (15%), six times the rate for the general API population (3%), and over four times the rate for the general U.S. population (4%).
* API respondents who attended school as Transgender people reported alarming rates of harassment (65%), physical assault (39%), and sexual assault (19%) in grades K-12. Eleven percent reported their harassment was so severe that it led them to leave school. Six percent were also expelled due to bias.
* Nearly 5% of API Transgender people reported being HIV-positive and an additional 10% reported that they did not know their status.
* Forty-four percent of API Transgender and gender-nonconforming people have experienced significant family acceptance. Those respondents who were accepted by their families were much less likely to face discrimination.
'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 API Transgender people,' said Darlene Nipper, the NGLTF's deputy executive director. 'This report is a critical call to action. We must ensure that we continue to work toward an LGBT movement that prioritizes immigration, racial, and economic justice.'
'These findings underscore the importance of recognizing that API Transgender people are a significant and too-often marginalized part of both the API and LGBT communities, and one that faces substantial and sometimes unique challenges,' said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. 'And the broader racial justice analysis has too often excluded APIs. This research contributes to our long-held belief that policy makers must understand and act on the deep disparities that exist within people-of-color communities.'
Injustice at Every Turn is available in English, traditional Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, Tamil, and Vietnamese. Both the original report and the follow-up can be downloaded at www.thetaskforce.org.
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