Food Insecurity Among Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Individuals in the Southeast United States: A Qualitative Study

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This document is relevant to humanitarian practitioners for its contribution to the dearth of knowledge on transgender and gender non-conforming people's experiences of food insecurity. It provides direct qualitative data from structured interviews that demonstrate these communities experiences in the United States.

This academic journal found that the extreme difficulty experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people (TGNC) in finding and maintain employment was a primary driver of food insecurity in the Southeast United States. Through semi-structured telephone interviews with 20 TGNC people residing in the Southeast United States, the authors sought to answer the following questions:

  • What experiences do TGNC individuals living in the Southeast U.S. have with food insecurity?
  • How does food insecurity relate to health outcomes for TGNC individuals living in the Southeast United States?

It was found that poverty and food insecurity eroded TGNC people’s physical and mental health, as well as their support systems. It was recommended that employment non-discrimination policies to protect TGNC people in the workplace be implemented and building relationships with LGBT organisations for safer environments for people needing food assistance be a priority.

[Quote]

“[How] can I afford my T this month when I'm barely able to make my bills and I hardly have enough gas to get back and forth to work? Let alone I need to put milk in the fridge and get bread.” (Participant 13, Transgender Male)

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This academic journal found that the extreme difficulty experienced by transgender and gender non-conforming people (TGNC) in finding and maintain employment was a primary driver of food insecurity in the Southeast United States. Through semi-structured telephone interviews with 20 TGNC people residing in the Southeast United States, the authors sought to answer the following questions:

  • What experiences do TGNC individuals living in the Southeast U.S. have with food insecurity?
  • How does food insecurity relate to health outcomes for TGNC individuals living in the Southeast United States?

It was found that poverty and food insecurity eroded TGNC people’s physical and mental health, as well as their support systems. It was recommended that employment non-discrimination policies to protect TGNC people in the workplace be implemented and building relationships with LGBT organisations for safer environments for people needing food assistance be a priority.