The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has released a report showing the results of a survey that it conducted of transgender Mainers. The survey showed what many already, intuitively, knew: transgender Mainers face frequent and extreme amounts of discrimination.
According to the NCTE report:
- 8% of respondents who have ever been employed reported losing a job in their lifetime because of their gender identity or expression.
- In the past year, 25% of those who held or applied for a job during that year reported being fired, being denied a promotion, or not being hired for a job they applied for because of their gender identity or expression.
- Respondents who had a job in the past year reported being verbally harassed (18%), physically attacked (1%), and sexually assaulted (1%) at work because of their gender identity or expression.
- 23% of those who had a job in the past year reported other forms of mistreatment based on their gender identity or expression during that year, such as being forced to use a restroom that did not match their gender identity, being told to present in the wrong gender in order to keep their job, or having a boss or coworker share private information about their transgender status with others without their permission.
“This data gives voice to the experiences of Mainers from Aroostook to York,” Quinn Gormley, president of MaineTransNet, said in a statement. “We, as advocates, face a constant struggle to impress upon providers, politicians and the public the severity of discrimination faced by transgender Mainers. These statistics come as no surprise to anyone in our community.”
“From employment to housing, to education, to police violence, sexual assault, access to health care and beyond, transgender Mainers experience disparities that can scarcely be compared to the lived reality of the general population,” Maggie Campbell, director of communications and development for the Health Equity Alliance, said in a statement.
Employment discrimination against transgender people because of their gender identities is a violation of Maine law and, according to a growing number of federal courts, is a violation of federal law. Transgender people who have experienced employment discrimination or harassment because of their gender identities should contact an experienced employment lawyer to learn more about their rights and legal options.