There is a growing body of research from a variety of disciplines highlighting the overrepresentation of LGBTQ identified individuals among sex trafficked and commercially sexually exploited (CSE) youth. A much smaller subset of this research specifically focuses on transgender female youth. Transgender male, GNC, and intersex youth are largely excluded from the available literature. The issues and obstacles faced by the transgender and GNC communities require specialized services that are not necessarily applicable to the LGBTQ community as a whole due to population-specific healthcare, mental health, and safety factors in addition to employment discrimination, housing discrimination, and familial rejection. By separating transgender and GNC youth from the larger LGBTQ community in studies addressing youth sex trafficking, researchers will be better prepared to identify appropriate methods for prevention, identification, and service provision. It is some of the most marginalized populations that are disproportionately represented among victims of sex trafficking. This reality reveals the systemic issues at play and consequently puts a mandatory responsibility on the public to take preventative measures. Protecting gender identity under anti-discrimination laws, providing accessible and available housing opportunities, and making gender affirming health care and service provision the norm can be considered minimum protections for U.S. transgender and GNC youth.
Tomasiewicz, M. L. (2018). Sex trafficking of transgender and gender nonconforming youth in the United States. Chicago: Loyola University School of Law Center for the Human Rights of Children.
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