Transgender People More Likely than Cisgender People to Face Food Insufficiency During Pandemic

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Tuesday 14th December 2021
Summary: Transgender people were almost twice as likely as cisgender people to encounter barriers to accessing food beyond affordability.


During the pandemic, an estimated 25% of transgender adults in the U.S. reported not having enough to eat in the past week, compared to 8% of cisgender adults, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Transgender people of color and those living at or below the federal poverty level were particularly affected by food insufficiency.

Using data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey collected between June and October 2021, researchers examined experiences of food insufficiency among transgender and cisgender adults. Food insufficiency is defined as sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the last seven days.

Results show that transgender people were almost twice as likely as cisgender people to encounter barriers to accessing food beyond affordability, including an inability to get out to buy food (24% vs 12%, respectively) and safety concerns (22% vs. 12%, respectively).

“Transgender people face high rates of poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate economic impact on LGBT people,” said lead author Kerith J. Conron, Research Director at the Williams Institute. “The commonality of food insufficiency among transgender people shows how critical it is to ensure access to jobs that pay livable wages and to improve access to food resources for this highly marginalized population.”

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The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.


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