Проект правовой помощи трансгендерным людям

The Financial Situation of Transgender People in Russia: Survey Results


We are pleased to share with you the results of our recent online survey concerning the financial situation of transgender people in Russia. The anonymous survey was carried out via the social media with 386 participants.


11,4% of our respondents confessed struggling to pay for food.

31,6% admitted having sufficient means for groceries, but not for clothing and footwear.

It turned out that only 5,7% of our transgender respondents were doing well enough to afford a car.


On the whole, these data align with the data published by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) in May 2017, that is to say, the financial situation of transgender people appears to be more or less the same as the financial situation of Russian people in general.


However, it is important to point out that VTsIOM carried out their survey by personally interviewing respondents in their homes, which means that unlike the transgender respondents of our online survey, not all of them had access to the Internet.

In addition to that, a considerable number (39,1%) of our respondents mentioned currently doing their studies. For this reason, it makes sense to compare our statistics to the numbers showing the financial situation of Russia’s youth. A survey of this sort was conducted by FOM group (“Public Opinion” Foundation) in 2016 among people aged from 18 to 30.


The rates are different here: those who can’t afford food and clothing are only 18% (versus 43% for the transgender respondents), while the most financially secure are 11% (versus 5,7% for the transgender respondents). However, the highest in all three cases is the number of those who have the means to pay for clothes, footwear and groceries, but not for household appliances.

You can see a full comparison of these rates on the diagram below.

This leads us to conclude that the financial situation of transgender people in Russia is somewhat worse than that of the general population.


We have also found out how many of our respondents have attempted to find a job this year (from 2016 up till now), but were rejected. 74,6% of transgender people have had this experience. This number is huge, but we must keep in mind that it includes all cases of rejection and is not limited to those motivated by the job seekers’ transgender identity. It is possible for a transgender person to choose not to disclose their identity or to have already obtained a legal name and gender change, and still be denied employment for other reasons. Unfortunately, searching for a job can be a long and harrowing process these days.


We also wish to emphasize the number 50% that was mentioned in the results of the monitoring research we had undertaken in 2016: this is the percentage of our respondents who were denied employment because their appearance and/or identity didn’t match their legal gender on at least one occasion from 2011 till 2016.

In addition to that, 16,1% of our respondents confessed being neither employed (freelance or otherwise) nor a student. This number may function as a guesstimate of the unemployment rate among transgender people, but the methods we used to calculate it are not the same as those used officially, therefore we won’t compare our results to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) statistics.


As our last question we asked our respondents to estimate the chances of transgender people finding employment in Russia prior to legal name change. 25,1% of the respondents replied that the chances were “very low”. 40,7% estimated them as “low”. Only 3,1% of the respondents considered their chances of finding a job to be decent.


This is indicative first and foremost of an attitude of pessimism among the transgender people as well as, to some extent, of a mistrust for employers and the Russian employment system in general.


Our thanks to everyone who took the time to participate in our survey!


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