Friday, June 10, 2016

One, Two, Three, Four…

It is hard to count trans people for one thing many of us don’t want to be counted and other consider themselves to be their true gender and not trans. So how do you count the number of trans people?
How Many Transgender Americans Are There?
The census still doesn't collect data on gender identity. Here's why that matters.
Mother Jones
By Samantha Michaels
June 9, 2016

Transgender rights have cropped up in the news a lot over the past year, from Caitlyn Jenner's publicized transition to the fight over sex-segregated bathrooms. Trans rights have even become a campaign issue, with everyone from former presidential hopeful Ted Cruz to presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaking out on recent anti-transgender legislation.

But despite this national conversation, "we can't really say how many transgender people are in the US, and we can't really say what their demographics look like," says Jody Herman, a public-policy researcher at the Williams Institute at UCLA, which has been a leader in efforts to study the transgender population. The federal government has done little to estimate the number of transgender citizens. In part, that's because the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, an annual population count, only asks about sex.

On Thursday, Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox, a transgender rights advocate, will speak on Capitol Hill about this lack of data, which can make it difficult for policymakers to address anti-trans discrimination. Cox is urging lawmakers to pass the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, which would require federal agencies like the Census Bureau to include questions about sexual orientation and gender identity in national demographic surveys. "That gap in data potentially denies policy initiatives and funding" to help transgender people, says Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, who introduced the bill.
When we were trying to pass the gender inclusive non-discrimination legislation we were constantly asked how many trans people are in Connecticut. The legislators wanted to know and we could not give them a definitive answer and I couldn’t see why they asked whether it is ten or ten thousand what difference did it make, we still needed protection from discrimination.

The article goes on to say,
Why do these numbers matter? Without national demographic statistics, policymakers may be fumbling in the dark when it comes to crafting legislation that helps trans people. And that's troubling, considering all the high-stakes questions that have recently been thrust before them: Should transgender kids be allowed to use school bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity? Should the Department of Veterans Affairs pay for medical procedures like sex reassignment surgery for trans veterans? How can we keep trans inmates safe from sexual assault in prisons and jails?
Laws shouldn’t be made by the size of the population but for the needs of the community. No matter the size of the community we are being discriminated against and I feel the smaller the community the more it needs protection from the majority.

I think one way to gauge the number of trans people is to look at Social Security and see how many people have changed their gender markers. Anyone who has transitioned probably has changed their gender with the Social Security Administration.

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