End Discrimination Against Homeless Transgender People

Target: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro

Goal: Require homeless shelters to accept transgender people into facilities that match their real gender.

Homeless shelters may no longer be allowed to turn away desperate transgender people based on bigoted and outdated notions about gender if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accepts recently proposed regulations. If this happens, some of the most marginalized people in the nation will no longer have to face the choice between possible harassment and assault and sleeping outside.

Homelessness disproportionately affects transgender persons, with many being unable to find work or kicked out of their parents’ homes due to blatant transphobia. At the same time, one in three trans people who attempt to gain access to a homeless shelter are turned away, and 42 percent end up having to stay in a shelter than does not match their gender identity. This puts them at high risk of being harassed and assaulted, especially when it comes to trans women.

Misgendering and refusing services to trans people does far more harm to them than they have ever done to cisgender people. Trans individuals just want to find some level of safety and get through their lives like anyone else. Turning them away from homeless shelters is not only discriminatory, it can be deadly. Sign our petition to encourage the HUD to adopt the new regulations that will protect homeless trans people from further violence.


Dear Secretary Castro,

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is currently considering newly proposed regulations that would require all homeless shelters receiving federal funding to admit transgender people based on their gender identity. As it is now, trans people can be (and often are) turned away if the gender they were assigned at birth does not match the gender the shelter serves.

One’s genitals and stereotyped body and facial features should have no bearing on whether someone is allowed access to basic shelter from the cold, rain, and snow–a basic need that, if denied, could end in a person’s death. Forcing trans people to shelter with others who do not match their real gender also puts them at a high risk of harassment and assault, especially trans women. However, 42 percent of homeless trans people have experienced this.

Homeless trans people are some of the most marginalized individuals in the nation. Many are driven to homelessness because of the bigotry of employers and their families and just need a place to stay until they can find a way to live in spite of such virulent hatred. We urge you to pass these proposed regulations and make it so trans people won’t have to risk their lives just to get basic shelter.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Franco Folini

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