Monday, April 23, 2012
New study finds genderqueer people face unique patterns of abuse and discrimination
Genderqueer people face distinct patterns of discrimination and violence according to a new study based on the dataset gathered for Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality.
The study, A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, was just published by the LGBTQ Policy Journal at the Harvard Kennedy School. It examines the experiences of genderqueer individuals and others who clearly identified as neither a man nor a woman.
A Gender Not Listed Here found that, when compared to transgender-identified respondents surveyed in Injustice at Every Turn, genderqueer respondents said they were more likely to be unemployed (76 percent vs. 56 percent); suffer physical assaults (32 percent vs. 25 percent); experience harassment by law enforcement (31 percent vs. 21 percent); and forgo healthcare treatment due to fear of discrimination (36 percent vs. 27 percent). There were other measures in which transgender respondents suffered higher levels of discrimination or harassment.
“These findings aren’t just groundbreaking for our academic understanding of the genderqueer experience,” says study author Jack Harrison of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Policy Institute. “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.”
Harrison authored A Gender Not Listed Here: Genderqueers, Gender Rebels, and OtherWise in the National Transgender Discrimination Survey along with Jaime Grant of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College and Jody L. Herman of the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.
The study also found that genderqueer individuals 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 vs. 23 percent who were people of color in the overall sample) and young people (89 percent vs. 68 percent were under age 45). These demographic findings mark a crucial new development in the understanding of the way race and age affect gender identity/expression-based discrimination.