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New report says racialized trans, non-binary Canadians face increased harassment, violence

Members of the Trans PULSE Canada research team as seen in June 2019.
Members of the Trans PULSE Canada research team as seen in June 2019. via Trans PULSE Canada/Facebook

A new report from Trans PULSE Canada suggests that trans and non-binary Canadians who also identify as, or say they are perceived or treated as, people of colour face increase levels of physical violence, harassment, and sexual assault as compared to non-racialized trans and non-binary Canadians.

Trans PULSE Canada is a Western University-led “national collaborative community research project” funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The research team includes contributions from “more than 100 community and academic researchers.”

Read more: Western University survey finds gaps in health care system for trans, non-binary Canadians

According to the report, 72 per cent of racialized trans and non-binary respondents experienced verbal harassment in the last five years, compared to 68 per cent of non-racialized survey respondents.

Twenty-three per cent had experienced physical violence within the past five years, compared with 15 per cent of non-racialized respondents.

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Thirty-two per cent of the racialized trans and non-binary respondents reported experiencing sexual assault within the past five years, compared with 25 per cent of non-racialized respondents.

Read more: Charges laid in connection with video showing bullying of transgender girl in Moose Jaw

“This latest Trans PULSE Canada report shows racialized trans and non-binary people are similar to other trans people in many ways, for example in their levels of education and in their mental health,” said Western University professor and principal investigator Greta Bauer.

“Where differences really jump out are in experiences of being targeted for discrimination and violence.”

Seventy-three per cent of racialized trans and non-binary respondents reported worrying about being stopped or harassed by police or security, compared to 50 per cent of non-racialized survey respondents.

Read more: ‘Deadly consequences’: Advocates warn trans people who are black face higher murder rates (2019)

Thirty-three per cent said they avoided calling 911 when it was needed for police services, compared to 21 per cent of non-racialized respondents.

The Trans PULSE Canada project collected survey data from 2,873 trans and non-binary people in 2019, 14 per cent of whom indicated they were “perceived or treated as a person of colour in Canada” and/or who identified as a person of colour.

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