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These are the states trans folk are fleeing to escape anti-trans legislation

A new study reveals that an alarming number of trans people in the US are relocating out of their home states, or considering doing so, to escape anti-trans legislation.

The latest U.S. Trans Survey, which surveyed 92,000 trans folks, was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE).

Five percent of trans people said they had moved state because of restrictive legislation in their home states. Forty-seven percent of the trans people surveyed (including those identifying as non-binary) said they had considered relocating for the same reason.

The survey was conducted at the end of 2022. In that year, more than 315 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation were introduced across the US, according to the HRC.

So far in 2024, the ACLU says it is tracking 398 bills it says negatively impact LGBTQ+ rights.

“It’s truly astonishing to know that people living in the United States at this time are having to think about leaving their home state, let alone that so many people have actually had to leave,” Sandy James, the survey’s lead researcher, said Tuesday on a Zoom call with reporters, reports The Hill.

Twenty-three states have banned gender-affirming health care for transgender minors, with more mulling such proposals. Some laws also impact trans adults. For example, Florida recently ceased to allow drivers to put their gender identity on any new driver’s license. They instead must state their biological sex.

“Pervasive and damaging” discrimination

The survey gave a roundup of the ten states—in alphabetical order—which had the largest number of trans respondents leaving.

There were: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

It did not state figures for each state on how many people had left. It also did not say which states were most popular for relocation.

“It’s really striking that this is spread around the country in response to this, essentially, discrimination out of the state Legislature and the government,” Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, NCTE’s executive director, said. “I think that really paints a picture of how pervasive and damaging that discrimination is.”

More than 9 in 10 say they are happier after transitioning

Other highlights from the survey included:

  • Nearly one in ten (9%) respondents reported that they were denied equal treatment or service in the last 12 months because of their gender expression.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of respondents reported that they were verbally harassed in the last 12 months because of their gender identity.
  • Three percent (3%) of respondents reported that they were physically attacked in the last 12 months because of their gender expression.
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents reported that they would feel “very uncomfortable” asking the police for help.
  • More than one in ten (11%) adult respondents who grew up in the same household with family, guardians, or foster parents said that a family member was violent towards them because they were transgender, and 8% were kicked out of the house because they were transgender.
  • Despite the challenges so many trans people face, the vast majority felt happier after embarking on their transition. Ninety-four percent “who lived at least some of the time in a different gender than the one they were assigned at birth reported that they were either ‘a lot more satisfied’ (79%) or ‘a little more satisfied’ (15%) with their life. Three percent (3%) reported that transitioning gender made them ‘neither more nor less satisfied’ with their life, 1% were ‘a little less satisfied’, and 2% were ‘a lot less satisfied’ with their life.”

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