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Most trans adults say they are more satisfied with their lives after transitioning, major survey finds

The most in-depth and representative survey of adult trans Americans comes as lawmakers increasingly target LGBT+ people in state legislation

Alex Woodward
New York
Friday 24 March 2023 00:55 GMT
Congresswoman with transgender daughter decries GOP 'attacks' on trans youth

The results of a wide-ranging survey of transgender Americans finds that a vast majority are satisfied with their lives after transitioning.

A survey from The Washington Post and health policy organisation KFF found that 78 per cent of trans adults living as a gender different from the one assigned to them at birth has made them more satisfied with their lives, while 45 per cent say they are “a lot” more satisfied.

The findings represent the most in-depth and representative survey of trans adults in the US, from interviews with 515 trans and gender non-conforming people from diverse backgrounds and with differing experiences, according to KFF.

The results also follow an explosion of state-level and federal legislation within the last two years that increasingly has targeted gender-affirming care, particularly for transgender youth, amid a sweeping legislative campaign from Republican officials and right-wing and conservative Christian groups that targets LGBT+ Americans.

State lawmakers this year have introduced more than 400 bills identified by the Human Rights Campaign as harmful to LGBT+ Americans. At least 175 measures would specifically restrict the rights of trans people.

There are nearly 2 million people living in the US who identify as transgender, representing fewer than 1 per cent of all Americans.

Yet states are increasingly engaged in legislation and policies to restrict or eliminate access to medically necessary and potentially life-saving medical care and other support systems. Eight states have enacted laws or policies banning gender-affirming care for young trans people, and at least 10 states are considering similar measures. More than half of all trans youth in the US between the ages of 13 and 17 are at risk of losing access to age-appropriate and medically necessary gender-affirming healthcare in their home state, the Human Rights Campaign has reported.

While most trans people have socially transitioned, meaning they have changed their pronouns, names and/or clothing, far fewer have medically transitioned, according to the survey, which marks the largest nongovernmental polling of adult trans Americans to rely on random sampling methods.

Less than one third of respondents reported using hormone treatments or puberty blockers, and only 16 per cent have undergone gender-affirming surgery or another surgical treatment to change their physical appearance.

More than six in 10 trans adults “sometimes” or “frequently” experience discrimination because of their gender identity or gender expression. A 64 per cent majority of trans adults say they have been verbally attacked because of their gender identity, gender expression or sexual identity, and 25 per cent say they have been physically attacked.

The onslaught of legislation and volatile political debate surrounding LGBT+ people has also negatively impacted the mental health of an overwhelming majority of young trans and nonbinary people, according to separate polling from The Trevor Project and Morning Consult.

A separate survey from The Trevor Project found that 45 per cent of trans and nonbinary youth have seriously considered attempting suicide over the last year.

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