This article reports on the experience of developing and conducting the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) as a grassroots community-based project that made a home for the 6,456 trans and gender-nonconforming people who chose to answer its seventy questions and created the largest quantitative data set on trans experience anywhere in the world. In order to explore the possibility of liberatory grassroots survey research, this article addresses three elements of the survey questionnaire and process. First, it discusses the convening of the team that ultimately created the instrument. Second, it describes the four qualifying questions that opened the survey questionnaire, inviting respondents to articulate their own gender identities. And finally, it looks closely at the last question of the survey, which eschewed the multiple-choice format in order to invite long-form responses about any topic respondents wished to address. This project has been unique in that it owes as much to the methodologies of activism and the history of community organizing as to the theories of survey research. Likewise, this article does not seek to offer best practices built only on citations to existing social science but rather is a record of the trail we blazed with this survey project in dialogue with women of color feminisms and trans liberation. The NTDS is a joint project of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

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