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Equality PA Condemns Bus Campaign Against Transgender People in Philadelphia

Philadelphia – This week a bus will be driving around Philadelphia with a message that denies that trans people exist. Equality PA strongly condemns the bus message as it is dangerous to the trans community, especially trans children, who experience harassment, bullying, and hate-related violence at much higher rate than other minority groups.

To participate in the protest of the bus in Philadelphia, RSVP to this Facebook Event.

Ted Martin, Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania, spoke out against the message of the bus campaign:

“We cannot erase trans people by denying that they exist in our society, but, as a society, we can make their lives more difficult and dangerous by refusing to acknowledge their existence. This bus tour is not defending anyone who is being attacked, it is simply piling on abuse on a group of people who are already under attack.

It can be hard to understand what it means to be transgender if you have never met a transgender person. Here are some of the facts about the reality of life for transgender people in America from the most recent US Trans Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality: (

  • Fifty-four percent (54%) of K-12 students who are out about their gender identity or perceived to be trans at school were verbally harassed, nearly one quarter (24%) were physically attacked, and (13%) were sexually assaulted in K-12 school.
  • Seventeen percent (17%) of K-12 students who are trans or perceived to be trans faced such severe mistreatment that they left school.
  • Nearly one quarter (23%) of trans people surveyed experienced some form of housing discrimination, and nearly one third (30%) experienced homelessness at some point in their lives.
  • The unemployment rate among trans people surveyed was three times higher than the general population, and more than three quarters (77%) of respondents who had a job in the past year took steps to avoid mistreatment in the workplace such as hiding their identity.
  • Forty percent (40%) of transgender people have attempted suicide in their lifetime, nearly nine times the rate in the U.S. population.

The truth is that people who identify as trans are not treated equally under the law, or treated fairly by society. Most Pennsylvanians are shocked to learn that it is still completely legal to get fired from your job, evicted from your home, or turned away from a business just for being gay or transgender. And, thanks to the Trump Administration, transgender kids no longer have the backing of the Federal government to be protected from discrimination in school.

We have a lot of work to do to educate the public about what it means to be transgender and how to make sure that everyone, including transgender people, has the same opportunity to attend school, find a job to support themselves and their family, and to simply live a peaceful and happy life.

On the bus there is the message: “Respect all.” On that one sentence we agree. We would ask the bus campaign to take their own advice, and try to respect all people, regardless of their gender identity.”



With 60,000 members across the commonwealth, Equality Pennsylvania is the leading organization advancing equality and opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Pennsylvanians.


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