Published Date: January 11, 2024

Summary: This study used data gathered between 2015 and 2021 from the annual California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to better understand the characteristics of transgender adult immigrants in California. Information about U.S.-born transgender people and cisgender immigrants is presented to identify similarities and differences in the needs of these overlapping communities.

Findings: Transgender immigrants (41,000) comprise over one-quarter of the state’s adult transgender population. Compared to U.S.-born transgender people, transgender immigrants in California were more likely to be older, people of color, married, and have children. Transgender immigrants were like cisgender immigrants in many ways, including age, regions of origin, amount of time spent in the U.S., and the diversity of languages spoken at home. However, they were less likely to be heterosexual (straight), currently married, raising children, homeowners, or live in Los Angeles. They also differed on English proficiency, with greater spoken language proficiency reported by transgender than cisgender immigrants. Transgender immigrants were like U.S.-born transgender people and cisgender immigrants on most indicators of economic well-being, health, and healthcare access. However, twice as many transgender immigrants as cisgender immigrants report recent psychological distress.

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