Jake Finney, the anti-violence project manager at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, is very familiar with his city's Covenant House. Take a guess at how many of its residents are transgendered.
All right, I'll tell you: Half. Yes, fifty percent. One in two.
Now, what percentage of the US population is transgender? Depending on whom you believe, it's anywhere from 0.3 to one percent of the population: In other words, anywhere from one in a hundred to one in three hundred thirty.
To put it another way, a resident of Covenant House-Los Angeles is fifty to a hundred sixty times more likely to be transgendered than someone in the larger population.
Of course, we all know that it's difficult to get accurate numbers for anything pertaining to transgender people. Part of that has to do with how trans people are defined, but equally important is the fact that many of us live (as I did) in our birth genders for much or all of our lives. Also, many trans people--such as the ones who become homeless--"fall off the grid."