Trans 101

This list is compiled from information from GLAAD.org and is designed to give a basic overview of what it means to be trans, struggles trans people face, and how you can best serve and understand.

What is Transgender?

  • Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth.
  • Gender identity is someone’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or as someone outside or in between that gender binary).

What should I know?

  • Trying to change a person’s gender identity is no more successful than trying to change a person’s sexual orientation
  • People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one (or more) of a wide variety of terms, including transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer. Always use the descriptive term preferred by the individual.
  • Transgender people may or may not alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically, and a transgender identity is not dependent upon medical procedures.

How is sexual orientation different from gender identity?

  • Sexual orientation describes a person’s enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attraction to another person (for example: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual).
  • Gender identity is your own, internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman (or as someone outside of that gender binary).
  • Transgender people may be straight, lesbian, gay or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would typically identify as a straight woman.

Why is Transgender Equality Important?

Transgender people face staggering levels of discrimination and violence.

In 2012, 53% of anti-LGBT homicide victims were transgender women.

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Transgender people are four times more likely to live in poverty.

Transgender people experience unemployment at twice the rate of the general population, with rates for people of color up to four times the national unemployment rate. In addition, 90% of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job.

  • Trans Unemployment Rate 14%
  • General US Unemployment Rate 7%
  • Trans Workplace Discrimination 90%
  • Trans Underemployment 44%

Police Harrassment

22% of respondents who have interacted with police reported harassment by police, with much higher rates reported by people of color. Almost half of the respondents (46%) reported being uncomfortable seeking police assistance.

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Transgender people are more likely to harm themselves.

41% of respondents reported attempting suicide, compared to 1.6% of the general population.

  • Trans People 41%
  • General Population 1.6%

Military Inclusion

Trans people are currently ineligible to serve in the United States Armed Forces.


Trans People you May (or Should) Know

Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox

Actress

Laverne Cox stars in Orange is the New Black, and she has graced the cover of Time Magazine.  She will soon be starring in a new NBC Crime Drama.

Janet Mock

Janet Mock

Author

Janet is the former editor of People.com, and writes for her own blog, janetmock.com.  Her first book, “Redefining Realness”, is an autobiography.

Wendy Carlos

Wendy Carlos

Composer

Wendy is known for having scored The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and Tron.

Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt

Entrepreneur, Laywer

Martine is the highest paid businesswoman in the United States, and founded Sirius Radio in 1990.

Lana Wachowski

Lana Wachowski

Director

Lana Wachowski is a director, producer, and screenwriter who co-directed Cloud Atlas and The Matrix.

Kye Allums

Kye Allums

Athlete

Kye Allums is a former NCAA basketball player, and is the founder of “I Am Enough.”

Chaz Bono

Chaz Bono

Author, Advocate

Chaz Bono is an author and advocate, who famously publicized his transition with the documentary “Becoming Chaz.”

Kylar Broadus

Kylar Broadus

Lawyer

Kylar Braodus is a lawyer, professor & founder of the Trans People of Color Coalition, as well as the first transgender person to testify in front of Congress.