When the U.S. House of Representatives passed a trans-exclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in 2007, it was a shot heard round the world for trans people and progressive queers in the U.S. and beyond. The 11th-hour, betraying machinations that shepherded the 2007 House vote exposed the transphobic underbelly of the LGBTQ movement, eventually catalyzing one of the most impactful grassroots studies of transgender experience in history, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS).
Undertaken in partnership by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, NTDS delivered what was missing from the lobbying effort to secure employment protections for LGBT people as a whole: a clear picture of the tremendously negative, snowball impact of employment discrimination in the lives of transgender people, as well as gender-nonconforming people in the larger lesbian, gay and bisexual communities.
The survey's findings, and its report, "Injustice at Every Turn," have been delivered to and taken up by secretaries in every major agency in the Obama administration, including Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), resulting in sweeping changes. From the Passport Office to the Social Security Administration, from the Affordable Care Act to Section 8 Housing, NTDS findings have helped government agencies address the destructive impacts of transgender discrimination within their sphere of influence.
As the Senate readies for a historic vote on ENDA this week, the dramatic infographic below outlines the multilayered impact of job discrimination. Losing a job due to bias is like falling off a cliff for transgender and gender-variant people: The initial act of discrimination creates many more devastating impacts across the lifespan.
As a nation, we can do better; as a community, we must.
Infographic by April Lee, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Research Fellow (click to enlarge)
We’re spilling the tea on all the queer news that matters to you. Learn more