Trans Community Update

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) of 2011, trans individuals experience more than double the national rate of unemployment and trans individuals of color experience up to four times the national unemployment rate. Forty-seven percent (47%) report encountering an adverse job outcome, such as being fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because of being trans or gender non-conforming. Large majorities of trans individuals report that they have attempted to avoid discrimination by hiding their gender or gender transition (71%) or delaying their gender transition (57%).

In healthcare, 50% of trans individuals report having to teach their medical providers about transgender care. Can you imagine having to tell your doctor how to medically treat you? Health outcomes for trans individuals show the appalling effects of social and economic marginalization, including much higher rates of HIV infection, smoking, drug and alcohol use, and suicide attempts. Trans individuals also face significant barriers, most of all discrimination and harassment, to education, employment, healthcare, and housing. Identifying transgender people can be challenging — using gender alone is not enough because some people in this community do not self-identify as transgender.

The City of Pittsburgh set the tone in 1997 as one of the first Pennsylvania municipalities to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. In 2009, Allegheny County passed the Non-Discrimination Ordinance, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity with some employers exempted. Despite legal protections, trans individuals in Allegheny County still experience much of the same obstacles to leading healthy lives.

Fortunately, in the Greater Pittsburgh Area there are a growing number of organizations focusing on the needs of the trans community and working to creating healthy, safe spaces.


Founded in 2009 by three friends who recognized that trans youth often face seemingly insurmountable barriers to participation in leadership activities and professional development opportunities due to discrimination. ITL has a Peer Mentorship Program to produce a group of well-informed, confident and competent young trans people who, by becoming experts in themselves, are ready, willing and able to provide information, mentorship and support to others in their communities. transyouthleaders.blogspot.com


Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Chief Dr. Liz Miller, M.D, PhD at Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital has been working with trans patients and their families for several years. Adolescent Medicine seeks to improve the health and well-being of youth as individuals and as members of their families and communities. chp.edu/CHP/am


Founded in September 2012 to increase health and wellness among LGBTQIA and PLWHA (people living with HIV/AIDS), GPP has eight pillars of which the organization stands: social, education, direct service, creative arts, linkage to care, diversity and the collective, development, and activity. GPP hosts two weekly programs: Ask-A-Doctor Clinic every Thursday from 4-7PM at Project Silk and (Trans)ition Thursdays, an online and physical location event to bridge the larger LGBQIA community with the trans experience. gardenofpeaceproject.org