Sunday, December 11, 2016

2015 Trans Survey (Cont.)

Friday I started looking at the demographics of the 2015 Transgender Survey and today I start looking at the survey findings for the family.

Most of us are out to our families and they support us (60%) while some of us have families are so-so with our transition (40%) and sadly 15% of us have been kicked out of the family. I am one of the lucky ones who have a supportive family.

But this is really the key…
Family support was associated with positive outcomes while family rejection was associated with negative outcomes. Respondents who were rejected were:
  • Nearly twice as likely to have experienced homelessness (40%) as those who were not rejected (22%).
  • Almost twice as likely to have engaged in sex work (16%) as those who were not rejected (9%).
  • More likely to have attempted suicide (49%) than those who were not rejected (33%).
I thought that those who were accepted by their families would have better outcomes than the survey found. I thought that they dropped off to general population levels, but then again we are still face societal pressures.

As for partners, it seems that the younger generation has it a little bit better than the older generations and my generation has it the hardest. No surprise there for me, I know how hard it is to find a partner. And for our children…
More than one in five (21%) of those who were out to their children reported that at least one of their children stopped speaking or spending time with them, temporarily or permanently.
And it seems to be related to our gender identity, the guys are much better off…
The likelihood of this experience differed by gender identity, with transgender women (28%) being more than four times as likely to report that their child stopped speaking or spending time with them as transgender men (6%) and non-binary respondents (6%)
When you look a race and acceptance there is a big difference between races; black and Latino has the highest levels of rejection (30%)(28%) with those of Middle Eastern decent had the highest (37%), and Asian have the lowest (22%). But when you stop and think about it makes sense, the cultures that value masculinity the most have the highest rejection rates and those cultures that are more gender fluid are more accepting.

More worrisome is those children sent to Conversion Therapy…
Fourteen percent (14%) of respondents who were out reported that their immediate family had sent them to a professional—such as a therapist, counselor, or religious advisor—to stop them from being transgender. This represents 11% of the whole sample. Those who transitioned 6 or more years ago (20%) were twice as likely to be sent to a professional as those who transitioned within the last year (11%)

Rates differed by race and ethnicity, with nearly one-third of Middle Eastern respondents (31%) and nearly one-quarter of American Indian respondents (24%) being sent to a professional
Unfortunately, they didn’t break it down by religion and this is something that we have to work on nationally and here in Connecticut where we have a number of camps that will “make you straight.”

The other area where we need work is for homeless trans children,
One out of every ten (10%) respondents who were out to their immediate family ran away from home because they were transgender. Almost one-third (32%) of those individuals ran away at age 15 or younger.
We need shelters for not only youth but also young adults between the ages of 18 and 24, because when the children turn 18 they age out of DCF and are put out on the street with a pat on the back and a “good luck.”

Next they looked and family and religion.
More than one-third (39%) of respondents who have been part of a faith community left due to fear of being rejected because they were transgender. People of color, including Middle Eastern (54%), American Indian (51%), Black (49%), Latino/a (46%), Asian (43%), and multiracial (40%) respondents, were more likely to leave because they were afraid of rejection.

Nearly one in five (19%) respondents who had been part of a faith community left because they were actually rejected (in contrast to feared rejection as reported in the last subsection), which represents 12% of all respondents. Experiences varied based on the amount of time since transition, with a third (32%) of those who transitioned 10 or more years ago leaving a faith community due to rejection.
Hmm… the highest rejections were by American Indian (33%) for some reason I thought they would have one of the lowest rates of rejection. But the good news is that most of those who were looking for religious acceptance found religious communities that accepted them (42%).

The next section of the report is on Identity Documents.
Approximately one-third (36%) of respondents have tried to obtain a legal name change, and 30% were able to do so. This rate varied greatly according to gender identity, where transgender men and women (51%) were almost five times as likely to have tried or completed the name change process as non-binary people (11%). A vast majority (96%) of respondents who underwent the process did so through a court order, less than 1% did so through the immigration or naturalization process, and 4% did so by other methods, including marriage, an informal or assumed name, or a process in another country. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of those who attempted to legally change their name were granted a name change. Those who attempted but did not complete the process reported a variety of reasons, such as being denied, running out of money, or giving up.
I’m one of the lucky ones who could afford to change all of my documents. Because you need to have a therapist or healthcare provider to sign the documents many trans people can’t afford it (35%). And of course those who have transitioned were way more likely to have changed their documentation and just about all of us who have transitioned have changed our driver license (90%) we are not as likely to change our passports or school records (33% and 35%). I haven’t changed my high school records from 50 years ago nor my undergraduate records, but my grad records are in my legal name because I transitioned before I graduated.

When I went to Probate Court the judge threw me a curve ball. He asked me where I was going to have my surgery and said that the “girls” went to Montreal… Huh? Other girls? I live in a small town and I always thought I was the only trans person in town.
Respondents were asked about their experiences when they have shown an ID with a name or gender that does not match the gender in which they present. Overall, nearly one-third (32%) of individuals who have shown IDs with a name or gender that did not match their presentation reported negative experiences, such as being harassed, denied services, and/or attacked.
When I was in a car accident on the Maine Turnpike at the York tollbooth I hadn’t transitioned yet but I was presenting a female, the state police officer addressed me as Diana and did all the paperwork in my the legal name.

Tomorrow morning I will look at the next chapters of the 300 plus page report.

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