Harassment of Transgender People in Bathrooms and Effects of Avoiding Bathrooms

Preliminary Findings from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey

July 2016

Download a PDF of the preliminary findings here.

The U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS) is the largest survey of transgender people ever conducted with 27,715 adult respondents. While the full USTS report will be released later this year, the National Center for Transgender Equality presents these preliminary findings concerning transgender people’s experiences in bathrooms given the current political debate about bathroom access.

This data demonstrates why it is crucial for transgender people to be able to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity:

59% have avoided bathrooms in the last year because they feared confrontations in public restrooms at work, at school, or in other places.

12% report that they have been harassed, attacked, or sexually assaulted in a bathroom in the last year.

31% have avoided drinking or eating so that they did not need to use the restroom in the last year.

24% report that someone told them they were using the wrong restroom or questioned their presence in the restroom in the last year.

9% report being denied access to the appropriate restroom in the last year.

8% report having a kidney or urinary tract infection, or another kidney-related medical issue, from avoiding restrooms in the last year.

The USTS was conducted online and in English and Spanish over four weeks in August and September of 2015. It is the follow-up to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), which was conducted in 2008-09 and had  6,456 respondents. The NTDS results were released in 2011. Since then, it has been the single most cited study about transgender people—cited by media over 15,000 times—dramatically changing how the public and policymakers understand the challenges facing transgender people.

Additional data from the USTS will be available later this year.