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Williams Institute scholars weigh in on federal regulations to support older LGBTQ+ people

Williams Institute scholars recently submitted several public comments in response to proposed federal regulations based on research to support older LGBTQ Americans and to increase protections from sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

Issue

The National Survey of Older Americans Act Participants (NSOAAP) is conducted by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to assess the economic, housing, health, and social needs of Americans served through programs funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act. Previous versions of the NSOAAP have included a question asking about sexual orientation. The ACL now proposes to include a two-step question asking about gender identity.

Impact

Approximately 7% of LGBT adults in the U.S.—or 794,000 people—are age 65 or older, including approximately 172,000 transgender older adults. Existing research demonstrates that transgender older people are especially vulnerable to health disparities, economic insecurity, and social isolation and would likely benefit from programs, such as meal delivery and transportation services, that receive government funding. Including gender identity measures in the NSOAAP would provide additional information about older transgender respondents’ experiences of discrimination, economic insecurity, health outcomes, and barriers to receiving support.

Summary

Scholars provide social science research on disparities impacting and discrimination against older transgender people. In addition, they support the collection and reporting of participants’ sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in accordance with the 2022 recommendations from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and provide guidance to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of respondents’ information.

Download the full comment here.

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