While the reports on the NTDS included details on Black, Latin@, and Asian respondents specifically, they did not include one on American Indians. So I’ve gone through the full report and made my own.
Of the total 6404 respondents, 368 (6%) marked American Indian as a race (roughly the same amount as marked Black); however, only 75 (1%) marked only American Indian. The report places all people who responded with more than one race in the category of “multiracial,” with no indication of how many of these are Native people. There is no indication as to how many people gave a tribal affiliation, or any demographic info at all about the nearly 300 people who marked American Indian in conjunction with another race.
I suspect that political issues like blood quantum may make Natives more likely to mark multiple races, yet despite this they continue to be subject to a very particular kind of discrimination and colonization. The way the survey dealt with Native respondents seems extremely problematic in light of this. Nonetheless, all numbers recorded in the survey refer to the 75 people who marked only American Indian as their race. As a result of the low sample size, the numbers should be treated cautiously. I hope that in the future someone will do a more detailed focus on Native transgender people.
- 36% of Native trans people reported losing their job due to being transgender. The unemployment rate for Native trans people is 24% (as opposed to 14% in the sample for all races and 7% in the general population).
- 12% transgender Natives reported being physically harassed by the police (the second highest rate for any race). This is twice the rate for respondents of all races.
- 38% of transgender Natives report physical harassment at school. 24% report sexual harassment, the highest of any race and twice the rate of all transgender respondents.
- 36% of Native trans people (twice the overall rate) reported having been refused medical care.
- 7.04% of trans Natives reported being HIV+ (versus .06% for all races).
- Over half of Native trans people (56%) have attempted suicide (the highest rate of any race, versus 41% overall, and 1.6% of the general US population)
- 45% of transgender Native people reported violence by a family member because of being transgender, over twice the overall average of 19%. Three-fourths reported loss of close friendships because of their gender identity.
- Homelessness is much higher among Native trans people than trans people of all races. 8% reported current homelessness (versus 1.7% overall). 33% became homeless because of discrimination or family rejection (versus 19% overall), and 30% reported eviction because of being transgender (11% overall). Nearly half (47%) of Native trans people reported being denied housing, almost 2.5 times the overall rate.
- Twice as many Native trans people (27%) as trans people of all races reported having sex with someone in exchange for having a place to stay.
- American Indians were the least likely of any race to have changed their gender on their drivers license (37%) and most likely to report changes to their drivers license being denied (16%).
- 30% of transgender Natives reported having been incarcerated, twice the overall rate.While I have tried to give a glimpse of the realities of trans Natives along the lines of the details of Black, Latin@, and Asian respondents created by the Task Force, I’m hindered by having only the data presented in their report. For instance, it appears that in the reports on individual races, they have included multiracial respondents. I would strongly urge the Task Force to take another look at the American Indian data they have and to create a similar detail for Native trans people, especially considering the data suggesting that transgender Natives have particular experiences that are worth examining on their own terms.