South Side LGBTQ+ center to launch largest transgender survey in country

Chicago Area Trans Survey collects data about experiences, lives and needs in transgender community
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Brave Space Alliance is hoping to collect data from over 30,000 transgender people in Cook County about their experiences, lives and needs with the Chicago Area Trans Survey.

"There is very little information that we have been able to gather about our community and what our unique need, situation and population looks like," said Stephanie Skora, the associate executive director of Brave Space Alliance.

BSA is a trans-led LGBTQ+ center in Hyde Park. Skora said the data could help get resources and services to the trans community in the Chicago area.

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"One of the biggest ways is that funding is allocated towards the needs of the populations, the needs of communities if there's data to back it up," she said.

BSA is partnering with Northwestern University for the survey.

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"Our team that's going to be working on this will be primarily trans individuals who can also bring in the combination of academic and lived experience," said Gregory Phillips II, an assistant professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University.

This project comes as the rights of trans people are under attack in states across the country. They plan to launch a census style canvassing team and a digital campaign to reach as many people as possible.

"Our community has got really, really good at hiding because when people find us, we tend to experience violence," Skora said.

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Data collection will begin next June. The survey results will be available for free to other community-based organizations throughout the country, along with instructions on how they can conduct similar research in their own communities.
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