94% of transgender Americans happier after transitioning, survey shows

The largest-ever survey of transgender people in the US demonstrates the importance of gender-affirming care at a time when trans rights are under attack.

Photo of person walking with transgender flag on their back, representing largest ever transgender survey.
Image: Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

Early data from the largest-ever survey of transgender people living in the US demonstrates that 94% of people experience a vast improvement in life satisfaction after transitioning.

In 2022, the US National Center for Transgender Equality surveyed 92,329 transgender and non-binary people living in the US. Despite experiencing discrimination at work and in healthcare, the overwhelming majority of participants reported that they were happier after transitioning.

Insights from the US Transgender Survey Early Insights report counter conservative narratives about “transition regret” and demonstrate the importance of prioritising access to gender-affirming care.

One survey respondent said, “Obtaining hormone therapy through the informed consent model and having access to surgery has definitely changed my life for the better.” They added, “It certainly didn’t fix all of my problems instantly, but it fixed a lot of problems that my dysphoria caused. Now that I’ve been on HRT and had surgery, I can live my day-to-day life without pain, dissociation, and misery.”


The survey included questions about families, health care, employment, education, housing and public accommodation. It included participants from every US state, and the results demonstrate the need for gender-affirming care at a time when trans rights are under attack.

At a news conference on Tuesday, February 6, NCTE Executive Director Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said, “…we’re combating dangerous misinformation being spread by anti-trans extremists. Without question, the misinformation and lack of understanding is underpinning these escalating legislative attacks against our community.”

In the past three years, 23 states have restricted gender-affirming health care for minors, and 25 states banned trans student athletes from playing on teams that match their gender identity.

Roughly half of respondents (47%) considered moving due to discriminatory laws on transgender rights in their state. The top 10 states respondents reported moving away from were Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, a state with a transgender state senator.


People who are able to transition report significantly higher life satisfaction compared to those who are deprived of gender-affirming care, but the survey also provides evidence of the discrimination, harassment, and violence that transgender Americans face in school, the workplace, and at medical appointments.

Survey data shows that of those who visited a healthcare provider in the past 12 months, 48% reported being refused care, misgendered, or verbally or physically abused. Additionally, the survey revealed that 34% were living in poverty compared to 12% of the US general population, and 18% were unemployed compared to 3.5% of the US general population.

Lead survey researcher Dr Sandy E. James, said, “It’s impactful to see so many trans people report life satisfaction when they live according to their gender identity and get the health care they need, but we also see that trans people face substantial barriers to living full, healthy, and authentic lives.”

NCTE developed this follow-up survey in partnership with the National Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, the TransLatin Coalition, and the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance.

The survey represents data collected in December 2022. Prior to this data, the largest survey of transgender people living in the US was conducted in 2015 and included 27,700 respondents.

© 2024 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.