Published Date: November 06, 2023

Summary: Using data gathered from first-person accounts, this study examines the needs of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex (TGI) adults who live, work, or receive services in the City of Los Angeles. In this quality-of-life assessment, most (94.6%) focus group participants were transgender and 16.4% of participants identified as intersex. Nearly all participants were people of color, almost two-thirds were Latinx/Hispanic, and half were not born a U.S. citizen. A quarter of participants attended a focus group that was facilitated solely in Spanish.

This study uses 2015–2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data.

Findings: Authors found that while the TGI community continues to face many acute challenges, it has also developed expertise, relationships, and resources that will be critical to addressing these challenges in partnership with the city.

More than half the participants had difficulty obtaining employment and were living with little to no financial resources. Housing was the area where participants expressed the most challenges.

Given findings from this study, and published research on housing and employment discrimination, transgender-competent transitional housing programs with employment supports and other resources (e.g., mental health care, English language classes) are recommended. Similarly, given findings from this study, and published research on health care discrimination, efforts to increase the knowledge and skills of the local health care workforce are needed. All services must be linguistically competent and matched to the needs of the diverse population of Los Angeles. 

Study participants made use of resources developed by the local TGI community and other community-based organizations with a demonstrated commitment to serving TGI people. TGI organizations should be funded directly to meet the needs of the TGI community identified in this report.

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