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LETTER TO COMMUNITY: Demand government include us in Census

At the Task Force we insist that systemic racism is an LGBT issue – as is immigration, housing, health care, fair wages, Social Security and sexism. That's why our work every day of the year reflects our deep and central commitment to racial justice.

As Black History Month comes to a close, we're reminded of the determination and tirelessness with which those who have come before us have worked to create a more just and equal society.

The Civil Rights Movement and all of the anti-racist organizing that has come after have created frameworks through which LGBT people and their families have organized to demand our rights.

Though there have been great strides over the past few decades, there remains much more to do.

A recent survey conducted by the Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality reminds us that transgender and gender non-conforming people face tremendous discrimination in the U.S. The combination of anti-transgender bias and racism means that transgender people of color experience even more devastating levels of discrimination on every single question we asked. And among them, black transgender people often report the highest levels of discrimination.

Of the black transgender respondents to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey:

  • 49% reported alarming rates of harassment at school;
  • 41% said they had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, over five times the rate of the general U.S. population;
  • 38% of respondents who had interacted with the police reported harassment;
  • 21% reported being refused medical care due to bias; and
  • 15% reported being physically assaulted at work.

Despite these shocking statistics, black transgender people continue to transition and work towards their goals and dreams as active and visible members of our communities. They're not willing to settle for less than full equality, and neither is the Task Force.

One way you can help is to demand that the federal government include questions that identify LGBT people and their families in the Census. By making sure we're counted, we’re providing activists and advocates with the data necessary to demand real change and equality.

Sincerely,

Rea Carey
Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force