Almost all trans people more satisfied with life after transition, study shows

The overwhelming majority of trans people are more satisfied with their life after transition, new research has revealed.

Released on Wednesday (8 February), the National Center for Transgender Equality’s (NCTE) 2022 US Transgender Survey compiled data from 92,329 trans people from all 50 states, as well as overseas territories and dependencies and military personnel serving outside the country – making it one of the largest studies ever conducted.

Asking people about healthcare, family, education, gender identity and transition, it found that almost all respondents (94 per cent) who lived “at least some of the time in a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth” reported that they were either “a lot more satisfied” (79 per cent ) or “a little more satisfied” (15 per cent) with life.

Meanwhile, 98 per cent reported that receiving hormone treatment made them either “a lot more satisfied” (84 per cent) or “a little more satisfied” (14 per cent).

Family support was also fairly prevalent, with about two-thirds of transgender adults saying family members were either ‘supportive’ or ‘highly supportive’ of their trans identity. Only eight per cent said immediate family was unsupportive and just four cent reported “very unsupportive” families.

The survey also showed the real-life impact of transphobia in the US, however: 47 per cent of respondents had considered moving to another state because their local government considered passing, or had passed, laws that target transgender people for unequal treatment, such as banning access to toilets, healthcare and sports. Five per cent of those who replied had already relocated to escape such laws.

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The top 10 states from which respondents moved away from were Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

In addition, 47 per cent of respondents reported that they would feel “very uncomfortable” asking the police for help if they needed it, with only eight per cent feeling “very comfortable”. The number of “very uncomfortable” or “somewhat uncomfortable” respondents rose to 62 per cent if the issue was about their trans identity.

The survey co-ordinators believe the study can be used to improve support for transgender people.

Co-principal investigator and lead researcher Sandy E James said: “It’s impactful to see so many trans people report life satisfaction when they live according to their gender identity and get the health care they need, but we also see that trans people face substantial barriers to living full, healthy and authentic lives.

“As the most comprehensive source of data about trans people in the US, these findings fill an important gap in our knowledge and serve as a critical resource for understanding and addressing the needs of trans people.”

And Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, an executive director at NCTE, said: “Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and fairness. We need laws at federal and state level that make sure all people – including trans people – are treated fairly.

“No one should ever face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, education [or] other areas of life just because of who they are.”

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