Psychological well-being among transvestites and trans women in the state of São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract: This article sought to estimate factors associated with the psychological well-being of transvestites and trans women. It is a cross-sectional study with 602 transvestites and trans individuals in seven cities in the state of São Paulo, Brazil from 2014 to 2015. We carried out a sample selection through a consecutive approach and using the snowball technique. The dependent variable was psychological well-being (WHOQOL-BREF) and the independent variables were: sociodemographic characteristics, body modifications, health conditions, violence and incarceration. We used a multiple variance analysis to identify associated factors. Most were black or brown and were aged between 25 and 39 years, had up to complete secondary education, individual income of up to two times the minimum wage and worked, and 42.3% were sex workers. Around one-quarter had been incarcerated. Around one-quarter were in treatment for HIV. Mean psychological well-being score was 63.2 (95%CI: 61.8-64.6). In the multiple analysis, the factors associated with lower psychological well-being were: not having a fixed address, having lower educational levels, being dissatisfied with personal relationships, friend support or the gender-affirming procedures they had undergone and having suffered verbal or sexual violence. While worse living conditions and exposure to violence harm the psychological well-being of transvestites and trans women, the possibility of undergoing desired body transformations and having their social name respected interfere positively in their evaluations of their lives.