The U. Transgender Survey found that nearly 1 in 4 transgender people 23 percent had avoided seeking needed health care in the past year due to fear of discrimination or mistreatment due to their gender identity. The expansion of legislation, lawsuits, and administrative rule-making allowing for broad religious exemptions from providing services puts another impediment in the way of LGBTQ people receiving medical care. For those patients that do seek medical care and are turned away by providers, alternatives may not be easily accessible.
This concern is exacerbated by a shortage of medical providers in key areas of treatment such as mental health care and geographic areas such as rural communities.
People coming out as gay at younger age, research shows
CAP survey data show that many LGBTQ people would face significant difficulty finding an alternative provider if they were turned away by a health care provider, such as a hospital, clinic, or pharmacy. LGBTQ people living outside of a metropolitan area report a high rate of difficulty accessing alternative services, which may be because such services could be further away and transportation costs have the potential to be higher. Some people may go to LGBTQ community health centers to avoid such discrimination, but they are not widely available across the United States, and many do not provide comprehensive services.
On the U. Transgender Survey, 29 percent of respondents seeking transition-related care reported having to travel 25 miles or more to access such care. Despite the importance of protecting people from discrimination in health care settings, current regulations are under attack.
On August 23, , a group of conservative religious organizations and eight states filed a lawsuit against the U. They made dubious claims that the nondiscrimination protections would require doctors to provide treatment that violated their religious beliefs, such as transition-related surgeries for transgender patients. On May 2, , the Trump-Pence administration filed a motion indicating that the rule was under review, and in August, it announced that HHS had already written a draft proposal to roll back the rule.
Gay Americans: Government Begins LGBT Population Count
While the administration cannot change the protections for LGBTQ people that exist under the law, a regulatory rollback would cause fear and confusion for patients and promote discrimination by providers and insurers. To conduct this study, CAP commissioned and designed a survey, fielded by GfK SE, which surveyed 1, individuals about their experiences with health insurance and health care. Respondents came from all income ranges and are diverse across factors such as race, ethnicity, education, geography, disability status, and age.
The survey was fielded online in English in January to coincide with the fourth open enrollment period through the health insurance marketplaces and the beginning of the first full year of federal rules that specifically protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in health insurance coverage and health care. The data are nationally representative and weighted according to U. Metro is defined as a metropolitan core-based statistical area and nonmetro is defined as anything else, including micropolitan core-based statistical areas and locations outside of a core-based statistical area.
Additional information about study methods and materials are available in prior analyses and from the authors. For many LGBT people, there is also a keen sense of dignity and power at stake in such research. Privacy concerns and terminology quandaries are among the issues that the federal working group, led out of the Office of Management and Budget, are working hard to figure out, as politicians across the nation argue that these demographics, and their struggles, must be recognized and researched.
That is, if you can figure out how to get it. But even though LGBT people can participate more fully in public life, bans remain, like one on the open military service of transgender troops—part of the reason that estimates of how many of them there are range from 1, according to a new RAND study to 15, according to a paper Gates wrote in Gates first made a mark with his research a little over a decade ago.
Gay Americans: Government Begins LGBT Population Count
Census question to show there were same-sex couples in A spokesperson for the census says that at this time they have no plans to add questions about that or gender identity to their surveys, though they are participating in the federal working group. The stated aim was to collect information on cohabiting heterosexual couples, but the question also revealed how many same-sex people who identified as partners were living together and where.
Gates mined this data from the Census to produce his geographical analysis, which was celebrated by LGBT people as confirmation that they were a legitimate voting bloc and politicians needed to take their concerns seriously. Today, many transgender people feel they need a similar affirmation.
In heated political battles all over the country—largely over the use of public bathrooms—transgender advocates can be heard making arguments about their very existence that echo ones made by gay and lesbian Americans decades ago. Studies have estimated that anywhere from 0.
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And having a bigger number matters. In the s, the gay liberation movement was propelled by the still-popular—if not exactly rock solid—statistic that 1 in every 10 people is gay. But if one is counting people who say they experience same-sex attraction, that figure can quickly double. Karen Parker, who runs a newly created office at the National Institute of Health that is exclusively dedicated to research on sexual and gender minorities, known as SGM.
STATISTICS AND DEFINITIONS
For instance, her office—which was created because officials noticed health disparities affecting SGM and determined that the area was understudied—cares a lot more about actions associated with health risks than political identities. What data can do. There is no shortage of research to bolster the anecdotal stories of discrimination and outsized hardships LGBT people still experience.
Studies of sample groups have found, for instance, that LGBT people face more barriers to getting healthcare than the general public and that transgender women of color are at greatly increased risk for physical assault.
But experts say the true scope of those problems can only be fleshed out by large-scale data collection—and that such information will make it a lot easier to get the resources needed to fix problems like the extremely high rates of poverty experienced by transgender people and gaps in parental rights affecting gay couples with children, particularly if the numbers have the authority of being produced by the government itself.
And the data they gather could pay direct benefits.