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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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Transgender Americans

Transgender Americans are experiencing a unique moment in history. Rising visibility, unprecedented advocacy, and changing public opinion are working to provide transgender people greater legal protections than ever before. At the same time, many transgender people, particularly transgender women and transgender people of color, still face enormous barriers to their safety, health, and well-being.


The following reports offer an overview into the lives of transgender Americans, dive deeply into the acute disparities faced by transgender people in the workplace and when struggling to become financially secure, and share how to talk about the importance of nondiscrimination protections for transgender people.

Related Resources

Report

Talking About Transgender People & Restrooms

August 2016 - Explore approaches for talking about transgender people and restrooms in a variety of contexts, including: building support for (and calming concerns about) nondiscrimination protections, opposing harmful anti-transgender bathroom ban laws, and more.

Map

Equality Maps: Identity Document Laws and Policies

August 2016 - These maps illustrate the state laws and administrative polices governing the processes by which an individual can change the gender marker on their driver's license and/or birth certificate to accurately reflect their gender identity, sometimes including intrusive and outdated requirements, such as proof of sex reassignment surgery and court orders.

Map

LGBT Policy Tally Snapshot: Gender Identity

August 2016 - Policy Tallies provide an overview of laws and polices that exist in each state. This tally includes laws that explicitly mention gender identity or gender identity and expression.

Map

Local Employment Non-Discrimination Ordinances: Gender Identity/Expression

August 2016 - Local employment non-discrimination ordinances protect people from being unfairly fired, not hired, or discriminated against in the workplace by private employers on the basis of gender identity.

Map

Healthcare Laws and Policies

August 2016 - Health care laws and policies impact many areas of LGBT people's lives, from insurance coverage to protections for LGBT youth.

Report

The Facts: Bathroom Safety, Nondiscrimination Laws, and Bathroom Ban Laws

July 2016 - The Facts: Bathroom Safety, Nondiscrimination Laws, and Bathroom Ban Laws provides a thorough and rational discussion of the legal landscape pertaining to nondiscrimination laws, bathroom ban laws, and restroom safety.

Video

New TV Ad: Restaurant

July 2016 - Debuting July 21 on FOX News Channel, this groundbreaking new TV ad created by MAP depicts the challenges transgender people face in accessing public restrooms when our laws don’t protect them from discrimination. For more on the campaign, visit FairnessUSA.org.

Report

Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails Transgender People

May 2016 - Transgender people face high levels of discrimination in many areas of life, putting them at risk for economic insecurity, homelessness, and reliance on survival economies. Combined with policing strategies that profile and target transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, the result is high rates of criminalization of transgender people.

Infographic

Snapshot: Transgender in America

July 2015 - This new infographic, “Snapshot: Transgender in America,” gives a quick look at state-level laws and policies that impact the lives of transgender people and provides some key statistics on the challenges transgender people face.

Guide

An Ally's Guide to Talking About Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT People

April 2015 - Learn about conversation approaches that can help build and sustain solid, lasting support for LGBT nondiscrimination laws, and also factually and effectively address concerns that might be raised when discussing the need for such protections.

Report

Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans

February 2015 - Coauthored by the Movement Advancement Project, the Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, with partnership by GLAAD, Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans provides a high-level introduction for advocates and allies to the issues facing transgender Americans, as well as recommendations for change.

Report

Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for Being Transgender in America

February 2015 - Transgender people in the United States face clear financial penalties and are left economically vulnerable because of discrimination and hostile educational environments. Learn more in this companion report to Paying an Unfair Price.

Report

A Broken Bargain for Transgender Workers

September 2013 - The basic American bargain--that those who work hard and meet their responsibilities should be able to get ahead--is broken for transgender workers. Learn about the inequities facing transgender workers, and how policymakers and employers can help reduce and eliminate those inequities.

Report

Advancing Transgender Equality: Snapshot

January 2009 - This snapshot report provides a capsule summary of the full report, as well as recommendations that can help LGBT organizations and their funders advance equality for transgender people in the years ahead.

Report

Advancing Transgender Equality (Members Only Resource)

January 2009 - This report provides an overview of the movement for transgender equality, as well as recommendations that can help LGBT organizations and their funders advance equality for transgender people in the years ahead.

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