Trans people four times more likely to live in poverty

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A report into the financial state of trans people in America has uncovered shocking results.

The Movement Advancement Project and Center for American Progress has released a report that looks into the effects of anti-trans discrimination on the financial inequality suffered by trans people. The report, Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being Transgender in America, found that trans people are four times more likely to be living in poverty than cis people, with the numbers rising for trans people of colour. Latino and Asian trans people were six times more likely to have a household income of less than $10,000 (£6,500).

The main reasons given for this is the absence of legal protections for trans people, and hostile work and educational environments. Trans people find it far harder to find long-term employment, housing, or education, and face large medical bills not covered by their insurance.

This has a knock-on effect that many trans people end up scraping by, living on the breadline with a poor quality of life. They also struggle to get access to loans and financial products due to a lack of gender recognition on identity documents.

The report suggests that to tackle these issues, the US government should make clear laws prohibiting discrimination against trans people. Attorney General Eric Holder clarified, in December, that federal employment non-discrimination laws apply to trans people, but the laws are still ambiguous and not widely enforced. There are no federal laws applying to housing and financial services such as loans.

It also suggests clear legal recognition of trans people’s gender is necessary, especially in identity documents, as well as diversity training for federal employees, and tackling transphobic bullying and discrimination in educational environments.

In January, we reported on how few US states grant trans students the right to use the correct toilet.