Today, HRC recognizes the countless transgender people who are, often in the face of great challenges, living visibly. By sharing who they are with their family members, friends, co-workers, teachers, and pastors, they are changing hearts and minds in the U.S. and around the world.
Celebrities like Laverne Cox, Mya Taylor, Lilly Wachowski, Aydian Dowling, Jazz Jennings, Geena Rocero, Janet Mock and Andreja Pejic are part of this changing landscape. But so, too, are the community members stepping forward to simply live their truths and fight back against anti-transgender legislation. So are church-goers sharing their journey with their fellow congregants and redefining people’s perceptions about what it means to be transgender. They all are giving transgender people a face, story and name. Their often courageous visibility is helping educate people still learning about transgender people.
We know that TV shows and films like Transparent, Sense8, Tangerine and The Danish Girl, and reality shows like I am Jazz, Transparent and I Am Cait have brought transgender people into living rooms and theaters across America.
According to a groundbreaking HRC national survey released today, more than one in three Americans personally know someone who is transgender. And increased visibility goes hand-in-hand with acceptance and progress. HRC research has shown that the significant uptick in the number of Americans who say they personally know or work with someone who is transgender overwhelmingly translates into favorable feelings toward transgender people.
The new HRC survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, shows that of the 35 percent of Americans who know or work with someone who is transgender, more than half know or work with more than one transgender person. Additionally, 12 percent say they personally know or /work with a transgender person under the age of 18.
It’s not just transgender individuals who are making a difference. Parents and families who welcome their transgender children with open arms, and freely share their stories, are also increasing visibility and understanding.
But while visibility is increasing, troubles remain. In 2015, we saw more reported killings of transgender women of color than ever before in the U.S. Additionally, the transgender community continues to face disproportionate levels of poverty, homelessness, employment discrimination, violence and HIV.
Furthermore, an unprecedented 44 anti-transgender bills are being considered in 17 states. Some bills undercut the ability of transgender people to access gender-affirming health care, create state-sanctioned avenues of anti-transgender discrimination and, last but not least, deny transgender people access to bathrooms, locker rooms and athletic teams consistent with their gender identity.
In addition to these problems in the U.S., violence, access to healthcare and legal recognition are issues that transgender people face in countries around the globe. According to the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, nearly 200 murders of transgender people were reported in 25 countries around the world in just the first nine months of last year.
For more information about HRC’s efforts to advance transgender equality, go to hrc.org/transgender.
Also check out HRC’s Transgender Visibility Guide here.