Advertisement

“Housing Insecurity Seems to Almost Go Hand in Hand with Being Trans”: Housing Stress among Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Individuals in New Orleans

  • Jennifer L. GlickEmail author
  • Alex Lopez
  • Miranda Pollock
  • Katherine P. Theall
Article

Abstract

Housing is an important social determinant of physical and mental health. Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals (T/GNCI) face a unique constellation of discrimination and compromised social services, putting them at risk for housing insecurity, homelessness, and its associated public health concerns. This study explores housing insecurity among T/GNCI in New Orleans, LA, where the infrastructural landscape is marked by an underinvestment in housing stock and disaster capitalism. In-depth interviews were conducted with T/GNCI (n = 17) living in New Orleans, identified through purposive sampling. Semi-structured guides were used to elicit personal stories and peer accounts of insecure housing experiences and coping strategies. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Data was coded, sorted, and analyzed for key themes using NVIVO 11. Respondents discussed an array of circumstances that contribute to housing insecurity, including intersectional stigma and discrimination coupled with gentrification and a changing housing landscape in the city. Housing was intricately intertwined with employment and other structural issues; vulnerability in one realm was closely tied to insecurity in the others. Social support and queer family structures emerged as a key source of resilience, coping, and survival. The study supports an increase of resources for T/GNC housing access and interventions that address the cyclical discrimination, housing, and employment issues this population faces with a consideration of the historical and current structural barriers impeding their access to safe, stable, long-term housing.

Keywords

Housing Insecurity Homelessness Transgender Gender non-conforming New Orleans, LA 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all of the study participants who shared their time and stories with us, as well as the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans and BreakOUT! for participating in various stages of the project from research question development to participant engagement and providing space for the interviews and data analysis. We express deep appreciation to Maxwell Ciardullo, Emily Rey, and Wesley Ware for reviewing multiple drafts of the manuscript and providing indispensable insight into the local context. We also thank Kendra Davis, who helped with data transcription and Steph de Wolfe who assisted with preliminary coding. This study was supported by grants from the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (P60AA009803), and the Drug Dependence Epidemiology Training Program, NIH/NIDA (T32DA007292).

References

  1. 1.
    Hwang SWJC. Homelessness and health. CMAJ. 2001;164(2):229–33.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Johnstone M, Jetten J, Dingle GA, Parsell C, Walter ZCJF. Discrimination and well-being amongst the homeless: the role of multiple group membership. Front Psychol. 2015;6:739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Grant JM, Mottet L, Tanis JE, Harrison J, Herman J, Keisling M. Injustice at every turn: a report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey: National Center for Transgender Equality; 2011.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    James SE, Herman JL, Rankin S, Keisling M, Mottet L, Anafi MA. The report of the 2015 US Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality; 2016.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dymski GAJHED. Discrimination in the credit and housing markets: findings and challenges; 2006. p. 215–59.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ehrenfeucht R, Nelson MJP. Planning, population loss and equity in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. Plan Pract Res. 2011;26(2):129–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mapping transgender equality in the United States, Movement Advanced Project (2017). https://www.lgbtmap.org/file/mapping-transequality.pdf Accessed March 11, 2019
  8. 8.
    Balint N. Which states have the best and worst laws for renters? In. rentcafe.com 2018:https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/renting/states-best-worst-laws-renters/. Accessed 23 Feb 2019.
  9. 9.
    Ehrenfeucht R, Nelson M. Just revitalization in shrinking and shrunken cities? Observations on gentrification from New Orleans and Cincinnati. J Urban Aff. 2018:1–15.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Olshansky RB. Planning after hurricane Katrina. J Am Plan Assoc 2006;72(2):147–53.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    2015 U.S. Transgender Survey: Louisiana state report. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality; 2017.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Tsai J. Lifetime and 1-year prevalence of homelessness in the US population: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III. J Public Health. 2017;40(1):65–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Where Opportunity Knocks the Doors are Locked, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center. (2015) http://www.gnofairhousing.org/wpcontent/uploads/2014/11/11-06-14-Where-Opp-Knocks-FINAL.pdf . Accessed January 30, 2019
  14. 14.
    Abedin S et al. Making every neighborhood a place of opportunity: 2018 fair housing trends report, Washington: national fair housing alliance. 2018. Available online: http://nationalfairhousing.org/wp-content/uploads//04/NFHA%2D%2DFair-Housing-Trends-Report_4-30-18.pdf. Accessed 25 Feb 2019.
  15. 15.
    Seicshnaydre S, et al. The New Orleans Prosperity Index: Tricentennial Collection, The Data Center 2018. https://s3.amazonaws.com/gnocdc/reports/TDC-prosperity-brief-stacy-seicshnaydre-et-al-FINAL.pdf Accessed January 30, 2019
  16. 16.
    Griffin S. Displaced. http://www.displacedneworleans.com Accessed February 20 2019
  17. 17.
    Irazábal C, Neville JJP. Neighbourhoods in the lead: grassroots planning for social transformation in post-Katrina New Orleans? Plan Pract Res. 2007;22(2):131–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Rybczynski W, Linneman PD "How to save our shrinking cities." Public Interest 1999:30–44.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Perez MS, Cannella GS. Disaster capitalism as neoliberal instrument for the construction of early childhood education/care policy: Charter schools in post-Katrina New Orleans. International Critical Childhood Policy Studies Journal 2011;4(1):47–68.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Adams V, et al. Chronic disaster syndrome: Displacement, disaster capitalism, and the eviction of the poor from New Orleans. Am Ethnol 2009;36(4):615–36.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Who lives in New Orleans and Metro Parishes Now?, The Data Center 2019. https://www.datacenterresearch.org/data-resources/who-lives-innew-orleans-now/ Accessed February 25, 2019
  22. 22.
    Branas CC, et al. Urban blight remediation as a cost-beneficial solution to firearm violence. Am J Public Health 2016;106(12):2158–64.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    South EC, Kondo MC, Cheney RA, Branas CCJAJPH. Neighborhood blight, stress, and health: a walking trial of urban greening and ambulatory heart rate. 2015;105(5):909–13.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Breonne DeDecker LYN, Griffin SM. Short-Term Rentals, Long-Term Impacts: The Corrosion of Housing Access and Affordability in New Orleans: Jane Place Neighborhood Sustainability Initiative; 2018. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4421169-Short-Term-Rentals-Long-Term-Impacts-the Accessed January 30, 2019
  25. 25.
    Glick JL, et al. “Tiptoeing Around the System”: Alternative Healthcare Navigation Among Gender Minorities in New Orleans. Transgender Health 2018;3(1):118–26.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Wainberg ML, Alfredo González M, McKinnon K, Elkington KS, Pinto D, Gruber Mann C, et al. Targeted ethnography as a critical step to inform cultural adaptations of HIV prevention interventions for adults with severe mental illness. Soc Sci Med. 2007;65(2):296–308.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Fereday J, Muir-Cochrane E. Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: a hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. Int J Qual Methods 2006;5(1):80–92.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Creswell JW, Miller DL. Determining validity in qualitative inquiry. Theory Pract 2000;39(3):124–30.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Doherty IA, et al. Social determinants of HIV infection in the Deep South. Am J Public Health 2007;97(3):391–1.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Raiford JL, Hall GJ, Taylor RD, Bimbi DS, Parsons JTJA. The role of structural barriers in risky sexual behavior, victimization and readiness to change HIV/STI-related risk behavior among transgender women. Behavior. 2016;20(10):2212–21.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fletcher JB, et al. Housing status and HIV risk behaviors among transgender women in Los Angeles. Arch Sex Behav 2014;43(8):1651–61.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sevelius JM, Reznick OG, Hart SL, Schwarcz SJAE. Informing interventions: the importance of contextual factors in the prediction of sexual risk behaviors among transgender women. Prevention. 2009;21(2):113–27.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Herbst JH, Jacobs ED, Finlayson TJ, McKleroy VS, Neumann MS, Crepaz N. Estimating HIV prevalence and risk behaviors of transgender persons in the United States: a systematic review. AIDS Behav. 2008;12(1):1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Buchanan D, et al. The health impact of supportive housing for HIV-positive homeless patients: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Public Health 2009;99(S3):S675–80.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Aidala AA, Lee G, Abramson DM, Messeri P, Siegler AJA. Housing need, housing assistance, and connection to HIV medical care. Behavior. 2007;11(2):101–15.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Marks G, et al. Entry and retention in medical care among HIV-diagnosed persons: a meta-analysis. AIDS 2010;24(17):2665–78.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gardner EM, McLees MP, Steiner JF, Del Rio C, Burman WJ. The spectrum of engagement in HIV care and its relevance to test-and-treat strategies for prevention of HIV infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2011;52(6):793–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Control CD. Vital signs: HIV prevention through care and treatment--United States. Prevention. 2011;60(47):1618.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Wars FJDZPFI. Linda Goode Bryant and Laura Poitras. Columbus: 2003.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Castells M. The city and the grassroots: a cross-cultural theory of urban social movements: Berkely and Los Angelos, California: Univ of California Press; 1983.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Hanhardt CB. Safe space: gay neighborhood history and the politics of violence: Durham: Duke University Press; 2013.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Gieseking JJ. Safe space: gay neighborhood history and the politics of violence: Durham: Taylor & Francis; 2016.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kreis AMJL. Ineq. Gay gentrification: whitewashed fictions of LGBT privilege and the new interest-convergence dilemma, vol. 31; 2012. p. 117.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Russomanno J, Patterson JG, Jabson JM. Food insecurity among transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in the Southeast United States: a qualitative study. Transgender Health. 2019;4(1):89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Singh AA, McKleroy VS. “Just getting out of bed is a revolutionary act” the resilience of transgender people of color who have survived traumatic life events. Traumatology. 2011;17(2):34–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Meyer IH. Resilience in the study of minority stress and health of sexual and gender minorities. Psychol Sex Orientat Gend Divers. 2015;2(3):209–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Dewaele A, Cox N, Van den Berghe W, Vincke J. Families of choice? Exploring the supportive networks of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. J Appl Soc Psychol. 2011;41(2):312–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Arnold EA, Sterrett-Hong E, Jonas A, Pollack LM. Social networks and social support among ball-attending African American men who have sex with men and transgender women are associated with HIV-related outcomes. Glob Public Health. 2018;13(2):144–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Adelson J. New Orleans City Council takes first step toward imposing stricter short-term rental rules. New Orleans Advocate. 2019. https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_28dfc12a-1520-11e9-bdfe-27181efdebc4.html Accesed February 25 2019
  50. 50.
    Orleans CoN. Short term rentals. https://nola.gov/short-term-rentals/. Published 2019. Accessed 25 Feb 2019.
  51. 51.
    Williams J What's in City Council plan to boost New Orleans' affordable housing? Here are 3 strategies. New Orleans Advocate 2019. https://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/news/article_a24aed3c-1fed-11e9-af3f-cb891b0277fc.html Accessed February 25, 2019
  52. 52.
    Office of Community Development 2016. Assessment of Fair Housing, City of New Orleans, Housing Authority of New Orleans 2016. http://www.nola.gov/community-development/documents/2016-updated-afh-plan-090516/afh-plan-090516-final/. Accessed February 25, 2019.
  53. 53.
    Get your security deposit back: new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019 [press release]. Decemebr 31, 2018. http://www.gnofairhousing.org/2018/12/31/get-your-security-deposit-back-new-law-goes-into-effect-jan-1-2019/. Access 5 Mar 2019.

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Global Community Health and Behavioral SciencesTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.School of Medicine, Section of Community and Population MedicineLouisiana State University Health Sciences Center – New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  4. 4.Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences and LSUHSC Comprehensive Alcohol and HIV Research Center (CARC)Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations