A new report helps shed light on the day-to-day discrimination that transgender Granite Staters face—discrimination that #TransBillNH (HB 478) seeks to address.
#TransBillNH is legislation—which passed out of committee last week with overwhelming bipartisan support and is currently pending a full House vote—that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment and public places like restaurants, doctors offices, and government buildings.
Last December, the National Center for Transgender Equality completed its 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, which tracks discrimination among the transgender population based on interviews with 27,715 transgender people, including 225 transgender Granite Staters.
The findings were stark. Survey responses show that discrimination is widespread and pervasive in the lives of transgender people, negatively impacting their ability to earn a living, find a home, access basic services like healthcare and education, and even do something as simple as use the restroom.
According to the report, more than 1 in 5 transgender Granite Staters have had a negative work experience because of their gender identity, including being fired, denied a promotion or subjected to verbal or physical harassment. Transgender youth reported even more problems with harassment. Sixty-five percent of K–12 students experienced some sort of bullying from classmates; for more than a quarter of them, that bullying included physical violence.
Transgender people also often confront discrimination from doctors, nurses and other health care providers. More than a quarter reported being verbally harassed or physically assaulted in medical situations, or refused treatment altogether. Ultimately, this prevents many from getting proper treatment for their specific medical needs, and can negatively impact their ability to cope with discrimination in other areas of their lives.
Transgender Granite Staters worry about harassment and violence in even basic aspects of public life—like while using the restroom. More than half of those surveyed said they had avoided using a public restroom because they feared the possibility of a confrontation. This fear is well-founded: Nearly 1 in 5 respondents said they had experienced such a confrontation, including being attacked in a restroom.
The sheer breadth of discrimination faced by transgender people in the Granite State should be a wakeup call to all policymakers and concerned citizens that statewide non-discrimination protections are sorely needed.
And right now, New Hampshire has the opportunity to take steps to address the high rates of discrimination experienced by transgender people and pass #TransBillNH to add “gender identity” to the list of classes protected in the state’s longstanding non-discrimination laws.
Now, it’s up to the House of Representatives to give an up vote on HB 478 before the March 9th deadline to ensure this critical non-discrimination legislation advances to the Senate.