Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

Demand That the CDC Reach Out to Transgender Youth

By David Thorpe

October 19, 2010

A sign at New York's Transgender Day of Action -- youth want to tell their stories.

A sign at New York's Transgender Day of Action -- youth want to tell their stories.

If the CDC doesn't ask, how can transgender youth tell?

Amazingly (or not, depending on your point of view), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not include questions about gender identity or transgender youth in its Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The survey is a critical source of feedback in understanding the health challenges faced by young Americans.

Join a list of organizations signing a letter asking the CDC to incorporate questions about gender identity and transgender youth in the next YRBS.

The letter includes potent information, like these statistics from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network:

GLSEN confirms these studies, finding that two-thirds of transgender students felt unsafe in school, almost half (44%) of all transgender students reported that they had been physically assaulted in the past year, and over three-fourths of transgender students (76%) reported being sexually harassed, such as receiving unwanted sexual remarks or being touched inappropriately.

National, state, and local organizations are invited to sign-on to the letter by sending an email to

Alison Gill at the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) at (202) 621-5821 or is also happy to answer questions about transgender youth.

This article was provided by Housing Works. It is a part of the publication Housing Works AIDS Issues Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:

General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.