A new survey of transgender life in Maine and the United States suggests transgender people in Maine face discrimination in health care, housing and the criminal justice system.

The U.S. Transgender Survey was conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality through an anonymous online survey in 2015 of nearly 28,000 people in all 50 states, 182 of them in Maine.

Results were released Thursday by members of the Maine-based Health Equity Alliance and the Maine Transgender Network (MaineTransNet) at a news conference in Portland. Proponents called the survey the largest ever done on transgender life.

“This data gives voice to the experiences of Mainers from Aroostook to York,” Quinn Gormley, president of MaineTransNet, said in a statement. “We, as advocates, face a constant struggle to impress upon providers, politicians and the public the severity of discrimination faced by transgender Mainers. These statistics come as no surprise to anyone in our community.”

In the Maine report, 43 percent of respondents who saw a health care provider in the past year reported at least one negative experience, including being refused treatment, verbally harassed or physically or sexually assaulted.

The survey reported that 28 percent of Maine respondents experienced some form of housing discrimination in the past year, including being evicted or being denied a home or apartment because they are transgender.


And the survey of Mainers said 62 percent of transgender people who had encounters with police reported being verbally harassed, referred to as the wrong gender or physically assaulted. Fifty-nine percent said they felt uncomfortable asking the police for help.

“From employment to housing, to education, to police violence, sexual assault, access to health care and beyond, transgender Mainers experience disparities that can scarcely be compared to the lived reality of the general population,” Maggie Campbell, director of communications and development for the Health Equity Alliance, said in a statement.

Campbell said the survey results can now be used as an advocacy tool by organizations interacting with health care, housing and law enforcement in Maine.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:


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