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The National LGBTQ+ Women*s Community Survey recently launched, a community-based research and organizing effort to learn from the experiences of women who partner with other women and gather groundbreaking data. Garnering thousands of respondents to date, this unique effort is led by veteran queer, lesbian, bi, trans, nonbinary, researchers and activists. The survey is designed to discover all we know and do not know about the life experience of LGBTQ+ women who partner with women. Aiming for 20,000 participants at www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org, the deadline for the study has been extended into 2022.
Comprised of more than 100 questions, the project team seeks a holistic understanding of how LGBTQ+ women self-identify, what they experience, and what it is like to live as a LGBTQ+ woman now, in 2021. The initiative's goal is to ensure that LGBTQ+ women who partner with womxn are better understood across a vibrant range of genders, ages, races, and sexual and material experiences. The research effort aims to highlight and interject issues affecting LGBTQ+ women who partner with other women in the policy and service agendas of queer and social justice organizations.
Justice Work, the think-tank and action lab led by former National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Urvashi Vaid, organized the survey project over the past three years, recruiting a team led by Research Director Dr. Jaime Grant. whose ground-breaking work includes the National Transgender Discrimination Study (2011), Principal Investigator Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell Emory University, Dr. Carla Sutherland, an international and domestic researcher in social policy, and an experienced advisory team of leading LGBTQ+ activists, scholars and researchers.
The Survey was designed through many workshops, conversations, social media outreach and community partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations to develop a vehicle that allowed us to gain a better understanding of LGBTQ+ women's life experiences in order to ensure that community organizations, healthcare systems, and rights organizations can better serve them, bringing invisible challenges and strengths to light.
“Existing research about LGBTQ+ women excludes so many of us because it's often centered in sexual behavior rather than identity," said Dr. Jaime M. Grant, Research Director of the survey.
Urvashi Vaid at the Vaid Group noted: “Queer women's lives are so varied and plural. We want to invite all women who have partnered with other women to share their experience of family, work, life, identity, gender, race, community, discrimination and resilience, and much more. Our goal is to bring forward real life experience to inform policy change, service delivery and action to support LGBTQ+ women."
Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell, Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University, serves at the Principal Investigator and data expert on the project, which is being hosted by Emory. Dr. Sewell, whose work has focused on race and policing, notes: “We don't want just the largest sample of LGBTQ+ women's experiences – we need a truly representative sample. We intend to reach into LGBTQ+ women's communities that are largely unseen or dismissed."
The survey is distributed online, available in English and Spanish, and is for anyone who has identified as an LGBTQ+ woman who partners with women at any point in their lives. The survey is also available to distribute to community groups, social networks, book groups, faith communities, sports leagues, support groups, and institutions. All data gathered is completely anonymous and confidential. It is available to take at https://www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org.
HELP CLAIM VISIBILITY FOR QUEER WOMEN!
JOIN THE EFFORT TO GATHER RESPONSES FROM LGBTQ+ WOMEN ACROSS THE US https://www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org
The childhood playground can be a tough place with insults flying faster than dodgeballs, and while some children outgrow the name calling, others never seem to. Hurling slurs as adults only exacerbates problems. The use of anti-gay slurs by heterosexual men against other heterosexual men is the focus of a new study by Nathan Grant Smith, an associate professor of counseling psychology and chair of the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences in the University of Houston College of Education.
“Our results suggest that using anti-gay slurs may serve a status-protecting function for heterosexual men: When their masculinity is threatened, they may be more likely to punish other heterosexual men by calling them the f-word,” said Smith, whose findings were published in Current Psychology.
Nathan Grant-Smith, associate professor of counseling psychology and chair of the Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences in the University of Houston College of Education
Smith, along with colleague Tyler Brown at McGill University, explored whether heterosexual men who had their status threatened were more likely to use anti-gay slurs against other heterosexual men. A group of 139 heterosexual male college students were randomly assigned to receive feedback on their gender roles: Half were told that their gender role was in the average male range and half were told that their gender role was in the average female range.
“We then presented them with vignettes of heterosexual men engaging in behaviors that go against traditional masculinity, like being emotionally expressive or not being physically strong or sexually virile and asked how likely they would be to use an anti-gay slur against the man in the vignette,” Smith said. “We found that those who had their status threatened by receiving the ‘average female range’ feedback were more likely to say they would use an anti-gay slur against the man in the vignette.”
After examining responses further, the team found that straight men are targeted by anti-gay slurs, not because of their sexual orientation, but because of their perceived transgressions against traditional male group dynamics and norms.
“Using anti-gay slurs to put other men down may be a way to try to maintain status when men’s status is threatened,” Smith said. “These findings highlight a significant problem in our culture and offer insights into ways that we can help men strive for status in pro-social rather than anti-social ways. It is our hope that our research can help men to develop healthy masculinities that lift up all men, gay and straight alike.”
About the University of HoustonThe University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 47,000 students.
This article was first published here and is republished with permission.
During the pandemic, an estimated 25% of transgender adults in the U.S. reported not having enough to eat in the past week, compared to 8% of cisgender adults, according to a new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.
Transgender people of color and those living at or below the federal poverty level were particularly affected by food insufficiency.
Using data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey collected between June and October 2021, researchers examined experiences of food insufficiency among transgender and cisgender adults. Food insufficiency is defined as sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the last seven days.
Results show that transgender people were almost twice as likely as cisgender people to encounter barriers to accessing food beyond affordability, including an inability to get out to buy food (24% vs 12%, respectively) and safety concerns (22% vs. 12%, respectively).
“Transgender people face high rates of poverty, and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate economic impact on LGBT people,” said lead author Kerith J. Conron, Research Director at the Williams Institute. “The commonality of food insufficiency among transgender people shows how critical it is to ensure access to jobs that pay livable wages and to improve access to food resources for this highly marginalized population.”
- Around a third of transgender adults (31%) were living at or below the federal poverty level (FPL).
- Transgender people were three times as likely as cisgender people to experience food insufficiency (25% vs. 8%).
- Transgender people of color (36%) were more likely to experience food insufficiency than cisgender people of color (13%), transgender white people (17%), and cisgender white people (6%).
- 42% of transgender adults who earned less than 130% of the FPL—the amount set by the federal government to qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—experienced food insufficiency in the past week, compared to 23% of cisgender adults in the same income bracket.
- 29% of transgender adults and 13% of cisgender adults living between 131% and 200% of the FPL, and therefore not income-eligible for SNAP, faced food insufficiency.
- Overall, transgender adults were more likely to rely on food resources, including food banks (14%) and SNAP (20%), compared to their cisgender counterparts (6% and 12%, respectively); however, levels of utilization were below levels of need.
- Of those who met the income requirement for SNAP eligibility, around one-third (31%) of transgender adults and 39% of cisgender adults were enrolled in the program.
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After four months in the field, the first comprehensive national community survey of LGBTQ+ womxn who center and partner with women has compiled survey data from more than 5,500 participants. The survey can still be taken. The survey link can be found and shared at www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org and the deadline for participation has been extended to March 31, 2022.
“This survey’s findings will help our movement develop organizing, advocacy, policy ideas, services and support for queer womxn who partner with other womxn,” said Urvashi Vaid, Director of Justice Work, the think tank that is conducting the study.
“We are continuing to connect within our diverse communities to gather the testimonies of lesbian, gay, bi, pan, trans, and non-binary womxn who partner with women and the findings will show how gender, race, economics, ability, geographic location, parenting, and so many more factors impact the lives of queer women,” continued Vaid.
Senior Researcher on the project and Emory University sociology professor, Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell, explained: “We needed to gather a team that would speak to our commitment to serving the community through this research and are very much looking forward to analyzing the data to better understand the needs of LGBTQ+ women.”
Dr. Sewell continued, “We are striving to have not just the largest repository of current community data on womxn and non-binary people who partner with womxn, but the most ethnoracially and economically diverse data as well.”
The study is supported by a group of veteran activists and researchers that include, Minneapolis Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins, First Nations Collective Founder Coya White Hat-Artichoker, and University of Chicago Professor and founder of the Black Youth Project, Dr. Cathy Cohen, Dean Spade, Seattle University Law School Professor, trans scholar and activist, and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, Dr. Bianca Wilson and Dr. Lee Badgett at the Williams Institute at UCLA. A diverse mix of grassroots organizations including leading LGBTQ Centers around the country, and key national partners like National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National LGBTQ Task Force, social media influencers and diverse promoters and media partners like Rivendell Media are supporting the project to reach out to queer communities nation-wide.
COVID restrictions have made it difficult for the study team to mount in-person events to support participation in the survey, but the team is planning opportunities to connect in person in the coming months including early 2022.
Research +Director, Dr. Jaime Grant noted: “We will be out in force at the National LGBTQ Task Force’s upcoming Creating Change Conference, talking to folks about the importance of this study to resetting movement priorities to serve LGBTQ+ women and continue to reach out via social media, media and organizational and personal networks.”
To learn more about the study, or take the survey, go to www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org