The Feds try to get to know transgender people

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Violent attacks. Homelessness. Suicide. Discrimination. Transgender Americans experience all of it far more than even other LGBT people. Now a national study looks at why.

In June, the National Institutes of Health earmarked $2.9 million for the five-year study. Researchers from three schools will conduct work in three cities – Atlanta (University of Georgia), New York (Columbia) and San Francisco (San Francisco State). They will try to determine how trans people developed their gender identity and “gauge how they overcome adversity at different times in their lives,” according to an announcement from UGA.

Through surveys and interviews, the national partnership will help lay the groundwork for putting social services and support networks in place for the transgender population. The first year of the project will look at critical incidents, starting from birth, that help shape a person’s gender identity. 

Anneliese Singh (photo), an associate professor in the department of counseling and human development services in the UGA College of Education, heads up the Atlanta team. She says that it’s the largest and first pro-active study of its kind, and that its goals are critical to improving transgender lives.

“It’s about creating better health outcomes for transgender people across the lifespan and ultimately reducing the massive amounts of discrimination they face,” Singh says in a prepared statement. “Once we know more about transgender identity development, we will be able to develop better intervention and prevention initiatives so transgender people can thrive.”

Find out more about the study by e-mailing Singh.

Photo by Cassie Wright courtesy UGA

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