The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Transgender New Yorkers Face Higher Unemployment, Poor Health, Report Says

By Danielle Tcholakian | November 20, 2015 6:24pm | Updated on November 23, 2015 9:01am

WEST VILLAGE — Disproportionately high levels of unemployment and poverty in New York's transgender community are connected to the health issues they face, a new study found.

The research was funded by the AIDS Institute of the New York State Department of Health as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's effort to reduce the number of new HIV infections in New York to 750 by 2020.

The report, released at the LGBT Center at 208 West 13th St. on Friday night as part of Transgender Day of Remembrance, analyzed data from the state's 2015 LGBT Health and Human Services Needs Assessment, with responses from 3,792 members of the LGBT community from all over the state.

The assessment also included a specific component on transgender health, with answers from 583 transgender New Yorkers.

The study compared the transgender respondents to the rest of the LGBT respondents. (There was no comparison to non-LGBT New Yorkers.)

Regardless of whether they completed college, transgender respondents between the ages of 25 and 64 were twice as likely to be unemployed, the report said, and 140 percent more likely to be in poverty.

And transgender people who tried to get job training were less likely to succeed than others in the LGBT community, "suggesting barriers that are specific to transgender people."

"There's a few jobs where I think it's possible that I might not have gotten them after they did a background check," one respondent said, "because some of my employment history is in my old name and some of it is in my current name."

Transgender New Yorkers were also three time more likely to report inadequate insurance coverage, with 61 percent saying their insurance does not cover transition-related care.

They were more than twice as likely to report that their personal finances were preventing them from getting health care, with almost two-thirds saying they could not pay for transition-related care.

"The major issue is just being able to make an appointment to see a doctor, get the hormones and figure out a way to be able to get them paid for because I can't pay $50 for that vial," one respondent said. "I know that doesn't sound like a lot but I really just cannot pay for that vial."

The report makes recommendations for doctors to become trained in transgender primary care or transition-related care. It also recommends that social service workers connect transgender New Yorkers with job opportunities and follow up to make sure they were not denied or treated poorly, while suggesting employers in government or philanthropic organizations hire transgender New Yorkers and consider them for leadership positions.

The report proposes that the government pass laws to protect the rights of transgender New Yorkers to be hired and keep jobs, something that would be achieved by the controversial Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA).

The report acknowledges that "people of color are under-represented in this study." Nearly 85 percent of the respondents to the study identified as white.

"Given that," the report concludes, "it is likely that the data here underrepresent their health disparities."

Read the full report here:


Transgender Health and Economic Insecurity Report