This year we have seen a record increase in transgender visibility. Transgender celebrities like Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Geena Rocero, and Caitlyn Jenner are standing up and speaking out about the realities of living openly as transgender.
 
TV shows like Transparent and Sense8 and reality shows like I am Jazz, Becoming Us and I Am Cait have brought transgender people into living rooms across America, showing the power of living authentically and openly.
 
The courage of transgender youth was highlighted on NBC Nightly News and even in a commercial with HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings.
 
Caitlyn Jenner coming out made headlines and exposed several generations, both old and young, to what gender identity and expression really means.
 
According to a groundbreaking HRC survey released this year, increased visibility goes hand-in-hand with acceptance and progress. The survey revealed a significant uptick in the number of Americans who say they personally know or work with someone who is transgender, and a corresponding increase in favorable feelings toward transgender people.
 
The data showed that 22 percent of likely voters surveyed reported that they personally know or work with a transgender person, up from 17 percent who said they did in a similar poll last year. And knowing a transgender person translates powerfully into positive impressions: 66 percent of those who said they know a transgender person expressed favorable feelings toward them, compared with 13 percent who did not -- a net favorability of 53 percentage points.
 
While visibility and progress continue, so too does staggering inequality. The transgender community continues to face disproportionate levels of poverty, homelessness, employment discrimination, violence and HIV. And 2015 saw the highest number of homicides ever recorded, with at least 21 transgender people killed in the United States this year -- a majority of who were transgender women of color.

“As we celebrate the growing visibility and acceptance of transgender friends, family members and colleagues, we must acknowledge the real risks for transgender people in living authentically,” HRC President Chad Griffin said. “It’s imperative that we continue to call for policies that protect people based on their gender identity, and continue our work to ensure that everyone gets a fair shot in our schools, our workplaces, and our communities.”
 
For more information about HRC’s efforts toward transgender equality, visit www.hrc.org/transgender  and check out HRC’s Transgender Visibility Guide here.
 
Counting down to 2016, HRC is celebrating our greatest milestones and victories in 2015. It has been another incredible year for LGBT equality and we could not have done it without you -- our members, readers and supporters--and we look forward to continuing our work in 2016. Stay tuned for more highlights from 2015. 


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