Genderqueer people face distinct patterns of discrimination and violence according to a new study based on the subset of data gathered for Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey from the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
The study—A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels and Otherwise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey—examines the experiences of genderqueer people and others who clearly identified their gender as neither a man nor a woman in a write-in category of the general Injustice at Ever Turn survey. Of those respondents, 13 percent fall into this category.
When comparing A Gender Not Listed Here results to those of transgender-identified respondents surveyed in Injustice at Every Turn, genderqueer respondents were more likely to be unemployed (76 percent versus 56 percent); suffer physical assaults (32 percent versus 25 percent); experience harassment by law enforcement (31 percent versus 21 percent); and forgo health care treatment due to fear of discrimination (36 percent versus 27 percent). There were other measures in which transgender respondents suffered higher levels of discrimination or harassment.
The study also found that genderqueer individuals also had distinct demographic characteristics. Compared to other Injustice at Every Turn respondents, they were more likely to be people of color (30 percent were people of color versus 23 percent who were people of color in the overall sample) and young people (89 percent versus 68 percent were under age 45).
“These findings aren’t just groundbreaking for our academic understanding of the genderqueer experience,” study author Jack Harrison wrote in a statement. “As with Injustice at Every Turn, they are a call to action. No one should have to get up in the morning fearing they will be denied a job, abused by police, mistreated by a doctor or attacked while walking down the street simply because of their gender identity and expression. For genderqueer people, this is a harsh and unacceptable reality.”
The groups had previously unveiled portions of the Injustice at Every Turn transgender discrimination report revealing the scope of discrimination against both transgender and gender non-conforming people generally in education, health care, employment and housing. Among the findings:
- Respondents were nearly four times more likely to live in extreme poverty, with household income of less than $10,000.
- Respondents were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to the population as a whole. Half of those surveyed reported experiencing harassment or other mistreatment in the workplace, and one in four were fired because of their gender identity or expression.
- Forty-one percent of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to only 1.6 percent of the general population.
- Nineteen percent reported being refused health care due to bias against transgender or gender-nonconforming people, with this figure even higher for respondents of color. Respondents also had over four times the national average of HIV infection.