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Press Release: Following U.S. Supreme Court decision, new FORGE data confirms need for employment protections for trans/non-binary Wisconsinites

  • by
  • michael munson

June 18, 2020

WI Needs Assessment: Workplace Discrimination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 18, 2020 


Shelley Gregory,

Loree Cook-Daniels,

Click here for a PDF/printable version.


Following U.S. Supreme Court decision, new FORGE data confirms need for employment protections for trans/non-binary Wisconsinites

While the U.S. Supreme Court this week handed down a major victory for LGBTQ+ employment rights, the most extensive survey ever conducted of the state’s transgender and non-binary community shows Wisconsin has a long way to go when it comes to ending discrimination against its transgender and non-binary residents.

Conducted by FORGE, a national trans anti-violence organization headquartered in Milwaukee, the survey shows Wisconsinites in transgender/non-binary communities experience high levels of discrimination at work, in school, and in other public settings. The survey gathered data from more than 450 individuals who self-identified with Wisconsin’s transgender or non-binary community.

Highlights from the survey report, due for release later this month, were released today. They include:

  • More than a third (38%) of respondents reported experiences of discrimination at work, for reasons including their gender identity/expression (44%), sexual orientation (18%), age (11%), and race (10%).
  • While some gender-expansive children whose gender identity is known at school (or their parents) reported positive experiences in K-12 schools (4%), a much higher percentage reported consistently negative experiences (14%).
  • The community’s greatest identified needs include appropriate and affordable health care (73%), greater legal protections (65%), employment free of discrimination (62%), safe and supportive schools (57%), and an end to stigma (55%) and street violence (51%) in their daily lives.
  • Survey data reflect low levels of full-time employment in addition to the outsized impact that various forms of violence play in the lives of many transgender/non-binary individuals.

According to FORGE’s Executive Director, michael munson, “While our community feels seen (and better protected) by this week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to affirm that gender identity/expression and sexual orientation are included within the definition of the word sex under Title VII’s employment discrimination protections — we know there is still substantial work to be done to address the discrimination, harassment, inequities, and violence that so many trans and non-binary individuals face on a daily basis. Community-specific quantitative and qualitative data speak volumes—both validating trans peoples’ lived realities, and contributing to conversations and actions that improve the resilience and quality of life for trans/non-binary communities.”

The state’s transgender and non-binary community is a large and diverse community of individuals estimated at somewhere between 34,800 and 69,600 in Wisconsin. Surveyors collected data from transgender and non-binary individuals, their family members and other loved ones, and professionals who serve the trans/non-binary community.

The data released by FORGE today—and the forthcoming complete report of data from the nearly 100-question 2019 Trans Community Needs Assessment, which includes wide-ranging data about community needs, sources of support, and methods of resilience-building—will be posted online at


FORGE, headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, is a 26-year-old, national trans+ anti-violence organization committed to improving the lives of trans+ individuals and loved ones by building strong connections, providing resources, and empowering personal growth. Our work is focused on direct services to trans+ community members and survivors of violence, as well as providing training and technical assistance to victim service providers and allied professionals.

For more information, please visit our websites at | | or find us on one of our social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.