One Iowa to Hold Press Conference on New Iowa-Specific Data from the Largest Survey of Transgender Life in America

On Friday, March 31 (International Transgender Day of Visibility), One Iowa will hold a press conference to present and discuss new, Iowa-specific data from the National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. The press conference will be held on Pomerantz Stage in the Olmsted Center at Drake University at 1 p.m.

Speakers include:

  • Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, One Iowa executive director
  • Sophia Stone, president of Transformations Iowa
  • Norio Umezu, Networking Project Coordinator at Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa
  • Renee Thomas, One Iowa board member designate
  • Drake Rainbow Union representative

“This report includes the most in-depth data describing the lives of transgender Iowans to date, and the picture it paints is inexcusable,” Hoffman-Zinnel said. “We must all take responsibility and work to create a safe and supportive environment for transgender people in our state. This report will be an invaluable resource as we do that important and necessary work. We chose to formally release this data on Transgender Day of Visibility to fully embrace the day’s intent to shine a spotlight on the transgender community.

Highlights from the Iowa report include:

  • 24 percent of respondents reported living in poverty.
  • Overall, 25 percent of respondents who had a job in the past year reported being fired, being denied a promotion, or experiencing some other form of mistreatment related to their gender identity or expression during that year.
  • 27 percent of respondents experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
  • 56 percent of respondents avoided using a public restroom in the past year because they were afraid of confrontations or other problems they might experience.
  • 51 percent of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable asking the police for help if they needed it.

As the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted, the full report includes critical information on the experiences of over 27,000 transgender Americans from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. military bases overseas. The data revealed disturbing discrimination trends and a range of disparities between transgender people and the rest of the United States in areas such as violence, education, economic hardship and health.

“In the face of dangerous legislation popping up in states all over the nation, our work to educate the public is more important than ever before,” Mara Keisling, executive director of National Center for Transgender Equality, said. “Our survey speaks to what we already know: transgender people experience rampant discrimination and endure substantial obstacles to meeting their most fundamental needs. We hope this state-specific information will inspire policymakers on the local, state and federal levels to enact policies that improve lives, not make them worse.”