How many transgender people are there in the United States?
New data this year, is shining a more accurate light on the number of Transgender Americans. A study published in June by the UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute; a think tank dedicated to conducting research on sexual orientation, and gender identity in law, and public policy, found that the number of transgender Americans has doubled what was previously thought: 0.6%, or 1.4 Million people.
To my surprise [link], being from South Carolina, it is interesting to note that the new study places South Carolina at 21st among Trans population in the U.S., with 5.8%, or 21,000 Transgender adults. Nothing at first glance to write home about, but thankful we find ourselves in the better half of the country, until you look at the past. In 2005, out of 104,000 LGBT persons in SC, there was estimated less than 5,000 transgender men, and women. One source placed the trans population of SC then at 45th, out of all states in USA. Wiki even listed South Carolina at #38 for overall LGBT population in 2000. Though all these estimates are debatable due to the possible reasons for under counting, it is safe to say that if the latest count by the Williams Institute is the most accurate thus far, South Carolina's transgender population has not only doubled in ten years, but among the fastest growing in the country, with the most growth of it's trans population than any where else in the south east. I'm also pleased, that according to this diagram showing the concentration of LGBT people in South Carolina, that majority of us prefer the south eastern coast of SC, and TMP's choice to call home, Charleston/North Charleston Metro area 844,526.
The bill not only quickly died in South Carolina, it rallied many supporters, and advocates to rush in new proposals to add gender identity to the proposed hate crime bill in SC. It will now give trans people protections they never had. The bill continued to back fire on Senator Bright, who proposed the bigoted agenda, by loosing his bid for re-election. Many in the SC LGBT community cheered the end of Senator "not so bright", and sighed a sigh of relief that we did not follow blindly in the footsteps of our southern neighbors, but the fight still continues for full equality.
When I started my transition ten years ago, I had to tell people here that TS didn't just stand for a tropical storm, and today I can proudly say one lone Republican Governor stood up for my rights, even to my wildest surprise. Yes many still can't find work, are harassed, and South Carolina still will not allow gender markers to be changed with out complete SRS, but there is something in the air that has never been here before for my people....HOPE, and it's growing.