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National Trans Survey Reveals Overwhelming Increase in Life Satisfaction After Transitioning

The National Center for Transgender Equality has released its 2022 U.S. Transgender Survey, with findings that suggest that, despite workplace and medical discrimination, trans people overwhelmingly experience more life satisfaction after transitioning.

Early insights from the survey – the largest of its kind, sampling responses from over 90,000 participants – reveal that 94 percent of trans people were more satisfied with their lives after transitioning: 79 percent “a lot more” and 15 percent “a little more.” The numbers are even higher for those who received gender-affirming treatment: 98 percent of those currently receiving hormone treatment were more satisfied and 97 percent of those who underwent at least one form of gender-affirming surgery were, as well.

“That might seem obvious to some of us that of course if you’re transgender and you need transition-related health care, of course your life is better off when you get that health care,” NCTE Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said at a news conference. “But it’s really important to have actually asked people and found out objectively what is their experience, because transition-related health care is otherwise so under attack in state legislatures around the country.”

These statistics counter narratives propagated by mainstream media sources like The New York Times, which published an op-ed titled “As Kids, They Thought They Were Trans. They No Longer Do” earlier this month, that suggest trans people regret transitioning. Of course, the data reveal that life satisfaction does dip after transitioning for a small portion of the community, but this is rare: only three percent of respondents reported lower satisfaction rates after transitioning.

“There’s still a drought of information available to lawmakers, the media, and advocates regarding our experiences and our needs,” Heng-Lehtinen said. “At best, we’re working in a vacuum of information. At worst, we’re combating dangerous misinformation being spread by anti-trans extremists. Without question, the misinformation and lack of understanding [are] underpinning these escalating legislative attacks against our community.”

The study also found that 34 percent of the respondents were experiencing poverty at the time of the survey, and 18 percent were unemployed. These numbers are vastly higher compared to the official 2022 U.S. poverty rate of 11.5 percent and unemployment rate of 3.5 percent. Thirty percent also reported experiencing homelessness in their lifetimes. According to the survey, 11 percent of respondents who had ever been employed reported losing their jobs, being fired, being forced to resign, or being laid off because of their gender identity or expression.

Negative experiences for trans people extended beyond the workplace. Of the adult respondents who had seen health care providers in the last year, 48 percent had at least one negative experience because they were transgender. Eighty percent of those who were out or perceived as trans in K-12 experienced at least one form of mistreatment, including verbal harassment, physical abuse, and cyberbullying.

These stats come amid a years-long legislative attack on the transgender community. In 2024 alone, 467 anti-trans bills have been introduced in 41 states, which is influencing some trans people to move from their home states. According to the survey, Georgia was among the top 10 states where transgender respondents most often reported moving from, along with Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Luckily, most trans people are supported at home, with 67 percent reporting that their immediate families were either supportive or very supportive.