Rhode Island, by the numbers

The National Center for Transgender Equality has released its survey results for the state of Rhode Island. The numbers are from 2015, but state specific-results have just been released.

The poverty rate for the general population of Rhode Island is 14.3%. For transgender residents, the poverty rate is 35%.

The findings reveal disturbing patterns of mistreatment and discrimination and startling disparities between transgender people in the survey and the US population when it comes to the most basic elements of life, such as finding a job, having a place to live, accessing medical care, and enjoying the support of family and community. Survey respondents also experienced harassment and violence at alarmingly high rates.

--The authors

We at TGI Network have been anxiously awaiting the state results of the survey, which illustrate the ongoing challenges faced by transgender and gender variant Rhode Islanders. Despite having a robust non-discrimination policy in Rhode Island, individuals still face discrimination and harassment at alarming rates. Discrimination or a fear of harassment keeps transgender people from having full access to public accommodations, education, healthcare, and employment. The survey results demonstrate that those fears are not unfounded.

--Ethan Hickel, TGI Network

From the survey we learn that 13 percent of respondents “reported losing a job in their lifetime because of their gender identity or expression.” 15 percent report being verbally harassed at work. 23 percent report being fired, denied a promotion or not being hired for an applied for job due to their gender identity or expression.

a staggering 69 percent “of those who were out or perceived as transgender at some point between Kindergarten and Grade 12 (K–12) experienced some form of mistreatment, such as being verbally harassed, prohibited from dressing according to their gender identity, disciplined more harshly, or physically or sexually assaulted because people thought they were transgender.

55 percent were verbally harassed, 38 percent were physically attacked, and 12 percent were sexually assaulted because of being transgender. A quarter of students faced harassment so severe they left school.

The treatment continues in college or vocational school where 15 percent of respondents reported being verbally, physically, or sexually harassed because of being transgender.

Only 51% of respondents reported that they were comfortable asking police for assistance.

On health care, 26 percent of respondents reported problems with their insurance related to being transgender, “such as being denied coverage for care related to gender transition or being denied coverage for routine care because they were transgender.” When health care was accessed, 24 percent reported negative experiences related to being transgender. “This included being refused treatment, verbally harassed, or physically or sexually assaulted, or having to teach the provider about transgender people in order to get appropriate care.” A third did not see a doctor when they needed to for fear of mistreatment and a third did not seek a doctor when needed because they could not afford to.

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