The Williams Institute, a think tank part of the UCLA Law School, released the first-ever state-level estimates of the percentage of adults who are trans in the United States. The report estimates that 1.4 million people identify as trans, with Southern states being home to some of the highest representation of trans people. By parsing the numbers, The Campaign for Southern Equality reveals that more than one-third of the trans people in the United States live in the South – 500,000+ individuals. A whopping 37.3% of the trans population live in the 14 states of the South plus Washington DC. A few other ways of understanding the number of trans people in the South:
- Of the three states with more than 100,000 trans people, two are Southern (the three states are California, Texas, and Florida).
- Georgia, Texas, and Florida are three of the top 6 states with the highest percentage of trans people.
- On top of their overall estimated numbers, extrapolated from the CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System in 2014, the Williams researchers also provide the lower boundary and upper boundary of what the population in the U.S. could be. These numbers show that the South could be home to as many as 920,496 trans people.
While Southern LGBTQ organizations struggle with the national reputation of the South as regressive and prohibitively conservative, the LGBTQ population continues to grow and prove their strength. LGBTQ people and families are powerful and increasingly organized in the South, particularly trans women of color and their communities. The Racial Justice Fund feels honored to support these communities fight to live full, authentic lives.