A recent report examining data from the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey revealed the numerous challenges faced by transgender sex workers. They face higher levels of poverty, homelessness and discrimination from employers and the social service providers who are supposed to be helping them.
Transphobia, and the fact that it’s still legal to deny trans people housing, employment and public accommodations in 31 states, drive many transgender people — especially trans women of color — to pursue sex work for money. Prostitution in the U.S. is illegal (and the laws forbidding it may soon get worse) making trans sex workers literal outlaws and leaving them susceptible to violence, just one reason why groups like Amnesty International have called for worldwide legalization of sex work.
You can learn more about the study’s findings in the video below: