New Report Outlines Blueprint For Transgender Equality

The National Center for Transgender Equality has released a new “Blueprint for Equality” that outlines 99 steps that could be taken to advance the lives of transgender Americans. The report highlights various areas of concern for transgender people and the ways policies do not currently ensure transgender protection:

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: “Passing a federal law to prohibit gender identity discrimination in the most specific terms is essential to ensuring that employers understand and consistently follow the law, and therefore to eliminating anti-trans discrimination.”

HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: “Whether it is fair participation in the rental and homebuying market or access to homeless shelters, the pervasive nature of discrimination follows trans people home.”

SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS: “Bullying and violence in schools constitute a safety crisis, impacting the health and educational achievements of transgender and gender nonconforming youth.”

ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE: “In a groundbreaking 2011 report, the U.S. Institute of Medicine (IOM) found that transgender people in the United States face serious health disparities and systemic barriers to care… At the same time, transgender people are more likely to be uninsured, to be unable to afford to pay for health care out of pocket, and to delay seeking health care because of cost or fear of discrimination.”

FIGHTING HIV/AIDS: “Overall, transgender people face HIV infection rates many times higher than the general population, and rates for transgender people of color are even higher. Estimates are that one in four Black transgender people in the U.S. is living with HIV/AIDS. Discrimination, stigma, social isolation, bias among health and social service providers, and a lack of targeted prevention efforts have all contributed to these high levels of infection.”

ENDING ANTI-TRANSGENDER VIOLENCE: “Transgender people today face an epidemic of antitrans violence. Whether it occurs on our streets, in our schools, in our homes, or even comes from law enforcement or other officials, staggering levels of violence persist even as trans equality advances.”

IMPROVING THE LIVES OF TRANS OLDER ADULTS: “According to the national Caring and Aging with Pride survey, transgender older adults are a ‘critically underserved population at heightened risk of physical and mental health disparities often combined with less social and community support.'”

COUNTING TRANS PEOPLE IN FEDERAL SURVEYS: “We need data about the lives of transgender people that is comprehensive, systematic, and collected regularly on a large scale.”

ID DOCUMENTS AND PRIVACY: “Government should not compel unnecessary or unaffordable medical procedures for purely bureaucratic purposes, nor should it needlessly compel the disclosure of a person’s medical history or transgender status.”

THE RIGHT TO TRAVEL: “While NCTE has long worked with TSA to promote better staff training, respond to individual complaints, and educate the trans traveling public, the agency’s lack of transparency and persistent use of invasive and unproven security procedures are a continuing cause for concern.”

EQUAL ACCESS TO PUBLIC PROGRAMS: “All people should be able to access government services and publicly funded programs without fear that they will be turned away or mistreated because of who they are.”

IMMIGRATION REFORM: “The government’s failure to recognize LGBT families exacerbates the hardships on our community, and transgender people frequently find their relationships challenged regardless of the gender of their partner. For trans people who have legal status, documents that reflect the wrong gender contribute to the discrimination trans immigrants face.”

PRISON AND DETENTION REFORM: “Nearly one in six transgender people (16%) (including 21% of transgender women) have been incarcerated at some point in their lives—far higher than the rate for the general population… These high rates of incarceration are driven by disproportionate poverty, homelessness, discrimination, participation in street economies, and in some cases, law enforcement bias. Trans people are also at high risk of abuse in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention.”

OPEN MILITARY SERVICE: “The military maintains its own rules for who is eligible to serve, which can be changed without congressional action. The transgender ban is the result of archaic rules that treat transgender people as mentally and medically unfit, rules that are based on outdated, unfounded stereotypes.”

HONORING OUR VETERANS: “Estimates put the number of transgender veterans in the hundreds of thousands… However, many of these veterans have been denied access to medical care and other services guaranteed through the Veterans Administration (VA), and have faced discrimination and harassment at VA facilities.”

FAMILY AND RELATIONSHIP RECOGNITION: “Transgender people and their spouses can be impacted by the federal Defense of Marriage Act  even if they married as a different-sex couple under state law, due to inconsistent interpretation and application of the law by federal agencies.”

ADVANCING GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS: “As a member of the Council for Global Equality, NCTE works with the Council to ensure that the United States uses its diplomatic, political, and economic influence to oppose human rights abuses that are too often directed at individuals because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”