Take the Trans “Sense of Community” Survey!

Take the survey here



For some time, I’ve seen and heard subjective assertions like:

  • I love the trans community!
  • I hate the trans community!
  • There is no such thing as a trans community!
  • I wish the trans community was stronger where I live!

So… Is there a trans community?

Strangely, quantitative research complementing existing ethnographic research concerning this question is hard to come by.

The results of this research will map where (and possibly why) the trans population detects and therefor perceives a community of trans folk and where  (and possibly why) it does not. A lot of interesting correlations can be drawn once the data collection is complete: Do the respondents detect and therefor perceive there to be community among the overall trans population and if so, to what degree does this exist – and, perhaps most interestingly -where does this sense of community thrive? Is a sense of community correlated with areas that are politically engaged and/or have access to resources? What sort of identities are most prevalent in groups with a high sense of community and which identities are most associated with having a low sense of community? These questions and more will be addressed in this research.

Isn’t it about time that these questions get attention?

If you think so, please spread the word about this survey!

To my knowledge, no quantitative research has been done answering these and other important questions. A sense of community may be tied to everything from one’s overall well-being to the efficacy of public health interventions within trans population centers. In fact, “community” is so important, the APA has a specific division focusing exclusively on community psychology.

Please take the survey and spread the word!

Quick FAQ

NAMES: You can use your name or make up a name. I ask for a name of some sort because I’m using the same research methodologies other researches used with this survey tool.

EMAILS: Validating emails help to ensure that folks aren’t trolling the survey in an attempt to skew the results favoring their narrative. It’s a sad fact that there are some trolls who have entire sites dedicated to certain ideas about the trans population (eg, how it doesn’t exist, how it’s evil, etc) and would be happy to spend a few days resubmitting their views over and over and over again. Email validation makes that sort of trolling (hopefully) too annoying to attempt.

ZIP: If someone enters 00000 (or something like that) for a zip code, their answers will not be included in the findings. Without zip codes, I won’t be able to assign geographic metrics. Additionally, zips help to ensure that A.) the response is real and B.) the response comes from America. Once the research is done, the survey will map the “sense of community” within geographic areas of America.

JUST AMERICA? WHAT ABOUT OTHERS COUNTRIES? WTF?!? My research is primarily focused on the American trans population. HOWEVER, international responses will not be thrown away. I will present the findings of international responses separately.

SAMPLE SIZE: I’d like to have 2,500 geographically diverse American responses. I have no predetermined sample size metrics for international survey responses.

CONSPIRACY: Some have actually asserted that all of this is part of particularly crafty national transgender conspiracy to data-mine all the sweet, sweet privacy juices from the Harry Benjamin Syndrome folks. If you are one of those who believe in this conspiracy, please… do not take this survey. I’ve no wish to inflame that level of paranoia in people.

I’M CONCERNED ABOUT MY PRIVACY, WHY DIDN’T YOU USE SURVEY MONKEY OR ZOOMERANG? I didn’t use a 3rd-party survey provider specifically because I am concerned about your privacy.

Some reflections on community

The Australian government (AG) identified two major types of communities:

  1. Communities of Location; and,
  2. Communities of Interest

The AG has the following to say about a Community of Interest:

In considering communities of interest, one can come close to defining community subjectively: one’s community is the group with which one identifies and which provides one with a particular sense of identity. There are some attractions in defining community in this way. Primarily, it resonates with the lived experience of people. It tends to reflect the forms of relationship and the patterns of communication that are important to them. It recognises that much communication and the sense of belonging are often not related to specific localities, but transcend physical barriers. Today, with the ease of electronic forms of communication, frequent communication can occur at an international level. Many academics, for example, identify with an international body sharing a similar field of expertise or interest. This body may have far more importance for them in terms of communication than do people who live locally. In fact, the Australian Community Survey conducted by the Edith Cowan University Centre for Social Research and NCLS Research in 1998 found that, in the cities, over 30 per cent of Australian adults communicated with no one in their residential locality about work interests, and over 25 per cent communicated with no one in the residential locality about their personal interests.

IMHO, the trans population is, at it’s most rudimentary elements, a Community of Interest. I tend to think that as a Community of Interest becomes more empowered, Communities of Location begin to emerge. For me, the transgender community facilitated my transition from a male social identity to a female one. Additionally, I identify with many of the political goals and social issues with which the trans community concerns itself. I’m guessing that this is true for a number of people who identify with the trans community and I’m guessing that it is not so true for those who do not. Moreover, I’m guessing that places with an empowered trans community are places which support an environment of common interests and those community locations that are fairly disorganized in their ability to coherently articulate their common interests will only support a weak or nonexistent community of location.

I’ve therefore decided to put these notions to the test. So, I chose to use the SCI-2 tool for this survey because it is considered to the most reliable tool available to the researchers.

If you have questions or concerns, please post a reply and I’ll do my best to address your comment!

The citation for this survey tool is as follows:

Chavis, D.M., Lee, K.S., & Acosta J.D. (2008). The Sense of Community (SCI) Revised: The Reliability and Validity of the SCI-2. Paper presented at the 2nd International Community Psychology Conference, Lisboa, Portugal.

Take the survey here.



  • Carolyn Ann

    Just a short point: requiring people to register first is, well, off-putting! To what am I registering? How will the survey company use that information? And so on. I don’t mind telling you my name, but there’s no way I’m revealing my zip code! And if I put in “00000” it makes the whole thing a waste of time.

    You should make name and email optional, and they should be asked at the end with a big “You don’t have to give this information”. Or, if you feel it’s required – keep it where it is, but put a big “You have to give your name and zip code because X-Y-and-Z. Your information will not be abused – see the Terms and Conditions on the survey software site”. That way I can make an informed decision.

    Sorry, Cristan.

    • Cristan

      Yeah, I know it’s kinda off-putting. However, the alternative is having to deal with folks trolling the survey in an attempt to skew the results favoring their narrative. We both know there’s some trollish and kinda nutty TS Seps who assert that there’s no trans community and would be happy to spend a few days submitting their negative views over and over and over again. If someone enters 00000 for a zip code, their answers will not be included in the findings. Without zip codes, I won’t be able to assign geographic metrics. Additionally, zips help to ensure that A.) the response is real and B.) the response comes from America.

      • Woowoo

        That’s absurd. Trolls will simply put in an arbitrary zip code. You can’t prevent people from gaming an anonymous survey. For example, I can leave this comment using totally made-up information.

        • Cristan

          Actually, your comment is moderated and my blog and the survey exist in separate databases. Yes, you could put in an arbitrary zip, but the survey program won’t allow you to make another entry.

    • Clarissa

      Hmm….Can’t say that is true where I am from lol. But I am glad somebody is getting some positive experiences out of the community. I had the opposite experience unfortunantly.

      • Cyndi Richards

        @ Clarissa ~ I AGREE!

        Even here in the once-upon-a-time progressive city of Chicago, the true concept of “community” for trans-folk has virtually vanished over the last 5 or 6 years. Personally, I view this socio-political deficit as a complete lack of solidarity, which presumably takes into account most of our “community’s” delightfully diverse characteristics

        Witness the hostile takeover (in December, 2009) and subsequent disintegration (in March of 2013) of the ONLY trans-focused 501c3 in our state (the late, great Illinois Gender Advocates, who had over a decade-long track record of several victories in the area of social justice for gender-variant people in IL) by a small band of woefully uninformed outsiders with their own set of profoundly flawed personal agendas and delusional political aspirations, all of which STILL remain unfulfilled..

        If ever there was a dire need for an ALL-INCLUSIVE state-wide gender equality organization, it’s NOW. Sadly, Illinois currently has NONE, directly as a result of a regrettable (and highly avoidable!) lack of COMMUNITY.

        Is our state the ONLY victim of all this counter-productive infighting under the theoretical shelter of the “rainbow flag”?

        I think not.

  • michellelianna

    Hi Cristan! I would love to take the survey and registered, but nothing ever came to my email. I tried it again, just in case I fat-fingered my email address in wrong, but the module said it was already registered. BTW, I think this is a wonderful project you are doing! I’m very interested in seeing the results, and believe there is not nearly enough good data out there. Honestly, I should be doing something like this as well instead of my usual silliness. Thank you again for taking this one!

  • Raven

    I thought you said you were not using Survey Monkey to protect privacy? But when I signed up it’s Survey Monkey! Fail! You’ve lost cred with me. Who are you anyway?

  • Clarissa Millarker

    Yeah I’m not a fucking HBSer but your methodology is fucked. Just so you know, there are about sixteen million websites you could do an anonymized survey on. The ONLY reasonable conclusion is that you chose one on which you cannot deliberately. Pass.

    And no, I don’t mind using my real name to say this much.

    • Cristan

      If that’s the perspective you choose to have, I really support you in doing what you feel you need to do.

      I will note that you felt more than comfortable using your name, IP address and email address to leave a comment about how you’re not comfortable entering your personal info into a database.

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