Transgender People Report Mistreatment in Schools and Hospitals

A study showed high rates of a range of negative experiences in the education and healthcare sectors.

A report found a large percentage of transgender people said they suffered mistreatment at the hands of school officials, healthcare providers and police.

The transgender advocacy report, which is based on 2015 surveys of nearly 30,000 transgender people in the U.S., detailed a series of hardships transgender people faced in various aspects of life.

More than three-quarters of respondents reported experiencing some form of mistreatment in K-12 schools, including verbal harassment (54 percent) or being physically attacked (24 percent).

Seventeen percent of respondents said the mistreatment was bad enough that they left a K-12 school.

Attitudes toward police were also negative, with more than half of respondents (57 percent) saying they would feel uncomfortable asking the police for help and police reportedly frequently assuming they were sex workers, particularly black transgender women.

In healthcare, a third of respondents who saw a healthcare provider in the last year said they had at least one negative experience related to being transgender, with higher rates for minority and disabled transgender people.

Nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) said they did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated, while a third of respondents said they didn’t see a doctor because they couldn’t afford it.

“As the national conversation about transgender people continues to evolve, public education efforts to improve understanding and acceptance of transgender people are crucial,” the study’s authors wrote. “Despite policy improvements over the last several years, it is clear that there is still much work ahead to ensure that transgender people can live without fear of discrimination and violence.”

The National Center for Transgender Equality funded and published the survey. Founded in 2003, the NCTE is a social justice advocacy organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people.

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