By Snehee Khandeshi, ERC Fair Housing Program Coordinator
Earlier this week, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) events took place across the globe to memorialize the victims of hate crimes motivated by transphobia, and bring attention to the continued violence experienced by the transgender community. On the fifteenth anniversary of TDOR, 238 individuals who were killed because of their gender identity during the past year were memorialized.
Trans communities constantly face the threat of violent crimes. The motivation and circumstances of violence perpetuated against transgender individuals is unclear, but it is clear that working to eliminate the everyday discrimination that trans people face in housing, employment, and in access to government resources is a necessary step toward reducing the threat of violence.
Though research regarding discrimination against the transgender community is scarce, in 2011 the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality published a report, titled Injustice at Every Turn, which documents discrimination faced by transgender individuals. With respect to housing, of the respondents to their national survey, 19 percent reported having been outright refused a home or apartment, and 11 percent reported being evicted because of their gender identity or expression. Furthermore, 19 percent reported experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives because they were transgender or gender non-conforming. Many of those who tried to gain access to a homeless shelter were harassed by shelter staff or residents. Almost a third were turned away from a shelter altogether and, alarmingly, 22 percent reported being sexually assaulted by residents or staff. (more…)