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Transgender Data Lacking

The GenIUSS Group, released a report that highlights the lack of survey measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents in most federally-supported population-based surveys.

Best Practices for Asking Questions to Identify Transgender and Other Gender Minority Respondents on Population-Based Surveys examines which surveys currently include measures to identify transgender and other gender minority respondents and offers expert recommendations for including sex and gender-related measures in population-based surveys.

As the nation’s leading education organization dedicated to ensuring safe and affirming schools for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, GLSEN recognizes the critical need for data about the specific experiences of transgender youth, parents, and educators. For the past several years, the organization has worked to identify best practices for collecting data about transgender and other gender minority adolescents in survey research.

“Transgender people and other gender minorities have long been an invisible group in population-based surveys, leaving researchers, policymakers, and service providers without crucial information about the backgrounds and needs of transgender people. In particular, the experiences of transgender and gender minority youth are largely unrepresented in research,” said Emily Greytak, PhD, director of research at GLSEN and coauthor of the section of the report focused on adolescents.

“Currently, no population-based surveys collect data on transgender or gender minority youth,” continued Dr. Greytak. “Collecting accurate data is critical for documenting and addressing the disparities associated with transgender and other gender minority communities. This important knowledge is essential for ensuring that schools are safe, supportive and provide equal access to education for transgender and gender minority youth.”

There has been a growing interest in including survey items to identify transgender and gender minority youth and GLSEN’s Research Department is regularly called upon by researchers from various spheres to provide guidance. With the goal of ensuring that all youth are counted and represented in research, this report from the GenIUSS Group will provide valuable support to researchers as they strive to collect critical data on transgender and gender minority youth.

The full report is available at


GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit

About GenIUSS

The Gender Identity in U.S. Surveillance (GenIUSS) Group is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional group of experts convened by the Williams Institute to increase population-based data about transgender people and other gender minorities by advancing the development of gender-related measures for population-based surveys, with a particular consideration for publicly-funded data collection efforts.