Resources

Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding

Human Rights Campaign Foundation

6/23/2008

Download Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding [PDF]

We hope that readers of Transgender Americans: A Handbook for Understanding will find it a useful overview of the issues facing transgender Americans in our society. This handbook aims to help readers become familiar with the range of issues faced by transgender Americans, from the complex process of getting an appropriate birth certificate, to family and parenting issues, to discrimination and hate violence. These issues are not theoretical — they affect real people who are an integral part of our American community.

We start by providing a picture: who transgender people are, how many are simply working to make a life and a living in the United States every day, and what the American people already understand and believe about their transgender neighbors and co-workers. Next, we discuss the numerous issues in which transgender people face discrimination and harassment: in finding and keeping jobs, locating housing and using public accommodations, staying safe in their homes and communities, obtaining critical health care, securing legal documents consistent with their gender identity, having their relationships respected and protected, raising their children, safely attending school and being treated fairly and humanely in the criminal justice system.

For each issue discussed, we define the problem, talk about a few of the real people that this issue affects and describe the current state of law and policy on the issue. More advances have been made in some substantive areas of law and policy than in others. In every area, much more needs to be done to ensure transgender people fair treatment and a level playing field in the United States.

Finally, we highlight what the Human Rights Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation have been doing, and will continue to do, to advocate for full equality for transgender people.