This article was published on June 5th, 2017
Out of all the letters in the cute little abbreviation, the least represented, and often most misunderstood group in the cluster is the T in LGBT, for transgender. It can be argued that one of the last great civil rights battle for queer people will involve the transgender community and understanding the plight of trans people is a beginning step. For the first time ever, data has been released on the number of gender confirmation surgeries (transgender surgeries), in 2016.
In a world’s first, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons tracked national statistics revealing the number of people in the United States who had undergone gender confirmation surgeries in 2015 and 2016. Their results, while perhaps surprising, offer a glimpse into the amount of surgeries performed and highlights a percentage of the trans community who have undergone such procedures.
The study revealed transgender patients are not necessarily looking for any one procedure, particularly. There are actually a wide variety of surgeries that trans patients are electing to have performed. Everything from body contouring to facial reconstruction to sexual reassignment, transgender patients are visiting plastic surgeons in big numbers. The study found that there has been increase of almost 20% of surgeries performed in 2016 versus in 2015.
According to the data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 3,200 surgeries were performed in some variation on transgender patients. These statistics not only included the actual surgeries, but the emotional and hormone therapy of each transition, in addition to fully addressing the surgical needs of each patient.
What does this mean for the transgender community? More visibility and understanding often leads to a better relationship the majority has with a minority group in the United States. Recognition and visibility are vital for the success of the transgender community. There have been more murders of innocent transgender people in 2015 and 2016 than in previously reported years. A study like the one conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons shines a light on one of many aspects of being transgender.
If these numbers are indicative of anything, they suggest that at least .008% of the population of Americans is transgender. Obviously, the data found isn’t complete nor is it exemplary of the entire trans community, as many choose not to undergo any type of surgery. What this data does reveal is that there is a growing number of Americans coming out as transgender, and many are wanting varying types of transgender surgeries. This study is only the beginning when it comes to researching more about transgender people and gender.