October 2, 2012

The Trans “Sense of Community” Survey

Cristan Williams has put up a trans community survey to study the way gender variant and transsexual people understand the notion of a trans community.

Those who have followed this blog know that this is not a simple questions. There are, for instance, crossdreamers and crossdressers who are clearly transsexual at heart, while others argue strongly that they are not even transgender.

They are all invited to take this survey, however.

Like Cristan, I mostly think of the trans community of a community of interest. The members of this community is a diverse bunch, but they have one thing in common: They violate the cultural mores of their own society by overstepping the borders between male and female in one way or the other.

This applies to crossdreamers and crossdressers, who commit the cardinal sin of dreaming or fantasizing of being the other sex, and it applies to transsexuals whose sex identity is clearly and indisputably misaligned with their birth sex. They therefore have an common interest in making society more tolerant towards those who find themselves on the outside.

Besides: The border between crossdreamers and crossdressers on the one hand and transsexuals on the other is blurred. Some transsexuals start out as crossdreamers, which tells me that there is much to gain and learn from interaction and collaboration.

UPDATE: Note that the survey seems to be targeting US citizens. I guess non-Americans may enter the name of their country instead of the ZIP-code. The survey also seems to be oriented towards "off-line communities", i.e. organized meetings of people in the local community. Again, I suppose you may add "online" as a location, if your main interaction with the trans community is online.

UPDATE 2: The survey is for Americans and is not anonymous. See comments below.

Cristan has more about the survey here.
You can take the survey here.


  1. Cute! You have to out yourself to Christen to take part in this "survey." Personally? I'd sooner eat a dead rat from a cesspool! Nice way to ensure those of us with a closed narrative don't skew the data though!

  2. As far as I understand it, you may use a nick name and a separate email address. That it easy to arrange in this day and age.

  3. Jack, it is still a barrier that reduces the number of transsexuals that will answer. Does that not taint the results?

    No matter the height of the barrier it still is one.

  4. Also the survey does not particpants from outside of the US. I tried

  5. Yes, you do have to enter a name, a valid email address and a valid zip code.

    The goal is to represent the first national map of where we likely subjectively perceive there to be community and where we feel there isn't. It will also look at if a 'sense of community' is tied to dense population centers, if it's tied to locations with more protections and/or resources, or if there may be some other factor for folks perceiving there to be community. Is a 'sense of community' related to 'getting things done' (being politically powerful and/or socially responsive) within a geographic location or not? There will be a lot of interesting correlations that can be made once the survey is done and that can't be accomplished without recording geographic locations.

    Entering a valid email and name are troll-reducing measures. The alternative is having to deal with folks trolling the survey in an attempt to skew the results favoring their narrative.

    There's no question that there are those who passionately assert that there’s no trans community and would be happy to spend a few days submitting their assertions over and over and over again in a lame attempt to troll the survey. Entering a name and having to access the survey through a valid email address that can be used only once helps to keep all that nonsense in check.

    I'm sure there will be some who enjoy believing that all of this is part of a plot or some sort a conspiracy I've put together for some nefariousness purpose. To them, I say please DO NOT take this survey; I don't want to support paranoia or inspire those sorts of anxieties. I'm simply not interested in pandering to someone's delusion. If you enjoy pretending that I've gone through all of this in the hope of tricking you into giving up an email, not only do I think that's silly, I also think that's kinda nutty. If you'd rather eat a dead rat than take a survey because you just know it's all part of some larger plan that's aimed against you, then please... I don't want to support that kind of anxiety in your life; please do not take the survey.

  6. So is is participation in the survey exclusive to American citizens. Secondly, I am no troll. In fact I used my personal at home email and never received a response.

  7. No, it's not exclusive to American citizens; rather, it is exclusive to the American trans population.

    I do have some data from other trans populations and while that data won't be part of this research, it will be presented on its own. I'll present the data from each country along with the number of respondents from each country.

    I understand that you're not a troll. However, there's no getting around the fact that there are a number of trolls who would love to skew this survey. I agree; it's unfortunate that folks have to deal with jumping through a couple of hoops just to prevent a few trolls from invalidating the study :(

  8. I think maybe you should tone back the tension because someone is scared to out themselves. My personal situation is one where even a hint of my inner-self would mean a lose of job, family, friends, and community. I work with kids in the deep south. No understanding or even the good works I have done would be able to keep me from being destroyed by the forces of hatred.

    If you are taking this survey I would guess that maybe you have an interest in Trans people. So I ask that you understand why there would be paranoia and fear.

    We take great precautions to secure our "secrets" from those closest to us, do you really think that we would just easily give them up to a total stranger?

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