Sunday, March 31, 2024

As we mark International Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31, celebrating people who are transgender and their contributions to our communities, the day also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness of the ongoing discrimination faced by trans people, particularly in the form of legislation in the United States.  

We’ve put together a short list of research resources from the Center and other partners and colleagues that focus specifically on cataloging trans rights. 


Our researchers at the Center for Public Health Law Research have been tracking preemption laws valid from August 1, 2019, through November 1, 2022, in all 50 states. The dataset, which is published on, captures both express preemption contained in constitutional provisions and statutes, and implied preemption identified in case law and attorneys general opinions. Specifically, the data examine state-level preemption in 15 policy domains that impact the social determinants of health.  

Preemption is a legal doctrine that allows a higher level of government to limit or even eliminate the power of a lower level of government to regulate a specific issue. 

One of the policy domains is transgender rights. In particular, the dataset tracks whether the state law preempts policies protecting trans rights and in turn what types of policies are preempted. These include inclusive school curriculum, gender-affirming care, single-sex spaces, participation in sports for transgender athletes, interference with parental rights as determined by state related to health or mental health, and adding new protected classes.  

This dataset is important in showing the everyday impact state preemption has on this community. Our team wrote a report published in December 2023 highlighting more of how these policies are affecting transgender rights in schools.  

Other Policy Researchers to Watch 

Heather Walter-McCabe is working with subject matter experts who are trans and/or focus more specifically on trans issues. Professor McCabe’s recently edited a special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics that focused on transgender health equity and the law.  

Researchers at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law published a report in October 2023 exploring the impact of 2023 legislation on transgender youth. One author, Christy Mallory, has continued to report on transgender legislation for the Williams Institute. 

A team of researchers at Yale School of Medicine are tracking evidence-based reviews of legislative actions on gender affirming care for transgender youth. The researchers are a part of the dean’s advisory council on LGBTQ+ affairs.  

Other Helpful Resources to Explore 

Erin In the Morning 

Erin Reed at Erin In the Morning tracks anti-trans legislation and provides updates to subscribers. (You can sign up to receive updates on the website.)  

Erin developed these legislative trackers using a systematic methodology with additional commentary. The 2023 LGBTQ+ legislative tracker is archived, and the current legislative tracker for 2024 is updated via a bot every 15 minutes. New bills are added manually by the maintainers as they are found. These trackers use automatically generated key words from the LegiScan and bills themselves while organizing the laws. 

Movement Advancement Project 

The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that provides rigorous research, insight, and communications that help speed equality and opportunity for all. MAP’s impact comes from the fusion of communications, policy and collaboration to advance equality and opportunity for all.  

MAP specifically offers a report on mapping transgender equality in the United States. Explore the full report

Learn more at  

Urban Institute 

The Urban Institute maintains stories, data tools, and blogs across a wide variety of research areas. A specific focus is available on sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. This page includes research reports, research briefs and stories all around this research focus.  

Read this story on housing for trans people, by trans people.  

Center for the Study of Social Policy 

The Center for the Study of Social Policy believe LGBTQ+ youth–and all people–deserve to be supported and affirmed in their identity and to have meaningful access to resources and supports that will allow them to thrive. The Center works in partnership with public systems to help them develop new and better practices and policies that transform how they interact with and support LGBTQ+ children, youth, and families. 

See all the available LGBTQ+ resources from the Center. 

Human Rights Campaign 

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is an organization leading the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ+ people and realize a world that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all. HRC envisions a world where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people plus community members who use different language to describe identity are ensures equality and embrace as full members of society at home, at work and in every community. 

HRC published a map specifically showing attacks on gender affirming care by state in the United States as of November 2023. 

Community Commons 

Community Commons is a robust online platform that supports change-makers working to advance equitable community health and well-being. The platform offers an abundant list of resources and tools for the transgender and nonbinary community

American Civil Liberties Union 

With the notorious “Palmer Raids,” Attorney General Mitchell Palmer began rounding up and deporting radicals believed to be in support of the Communist Revolution. Thousands of people were arrested without warrants and without regard to constitutional protections against unlawful search and seizure. In the face of those civil liberties abuses, a small group of people formed what we now know as the American Civil Liberties Union

In 2024, ACLU is tracking 479 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in the United States. ACLU is specifically tracking bills that attack transgender youth.  

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