Dismantling Stigma in the Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Community
Authors: Amanda Babine, Shirley Torho, Oscar Fitzpatrick, Sasha Rodriguez Kolodkin, Leah Daly
Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming (TGNC) people in the United States experience widespread prejudice, discrimination, violence, and other forms of stigma. Research demonstrates that stigma, violence, and discrimination against the TGNC community limits opportunities and access to critical resources and drives transphobia at the individual, community, and institutional levels. This study sought to identify gaps in research related to the needs of the TGNC community using the Social-Ecological Model and to examine experiences of stigma in their daily lives. The New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG) conducted an anonymous Internet-based survey of TGNC individuals residing in the United States from August 15 to September 15, 2018; the survey was distributed across our networks and administered through Survey Monkey.
Data was collected from 135 respondents – 68.9% identified as Transgender, 27.4% as Gender Non-Conforming, and 3.7% preferred not to say. Consistent with national data, more than half of the respondents had experienced some form of assault. Additionally, 75% of respondents rated their stress level as a 4 or 5 on a 1-5 scale (1 low, 5 high), and approximately 81% reported that their identi cation document did not re ect their gender identity. Such ndings suggest that TGNC persons experience stigma at all levels of the Social-Ecological Model; therefore, it is imperative that programming and community-based interventions take an intersectional approach. They must also acknowledge that factors at the individual, community, and institutional levels are inextricably linked and work together to produce experiences of stigma and, consequently, the stress and poor life outcomes associated with the TGNC community.
Transgender and Gender-Nonconforming (TGNC) people in the United States experience widespread prejudice, discrimination, violence, and other forms of stigma. Multiple studies have treated the LGBTQI community as a uniform group, ignoring the complex identities within each group. This is a grave oversight. Past practice has failed to address the unique needs and challenges facing the TGNC community. Therefore, the focus of the study was to directly identify these challenges, and how best to address them.
Transgender: Transgender is an umbrella term used to de ne individuals whose gender identity or expression differs from the culturally-bound gender associated with one’s assigned birth sex (i.e., male or female).
Gender Non-Conforming: Persons with behavior, appearances, and/or identities that do not match masculine and feminine gender norms, or who have gender expressions that are incongruent with those culturally assigned to their sex at birth.
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