Activists Say Survey On Trans And Gender Nonconforming Iowans Shows “Unacceptable” Realities

Mar 31, 2017

Iowa transgender-rights activists discussed a survey on the state’s transgender and gender-nonconforming community, results being called “unacceptable” and “inexcusable.”

For example, nearly a quarter of the 219 transgender and gender-nonconforming Iowans surveyed say they live in poverty, and 30 percent hadn’t seen a doctor in the past year, out of fear of being mistreated.

Sophia Stone of Transformations Iowa says that many of the results from the National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey were unfortunately not surprising. But it may be a helpful tool in combating problems pervasive through Iowa's trans community.

"Having these solid statistics that we can point to and say, OK look at the survey, this proves it," says Stone. "This backs up what we are saying, what we have been saying for a long time."

Norio Umezu heads the Networking project, a coalition that does anti-violence work. He says the results of this survey are important because if the depth of a problem is unknown, circumstances can’t change.

"I think when we do see coverage of trans and gender nonconforming people’s lives, it’s often within the context only of hate-violence," says Umezu. "We're not seeing all the other barriers to surviving and thriving that trans and gender nonconforming communities especially trans and gender nonconforming communities of color, low-income communities, youth, and elders, and immigrants are really facing.

The survey results may be helpful in obtaining funding and strategize on how to meet the needs of Iowa’s transgender and gender-nonconforming community