What We Know project reveals state of play for LGBTQ people of color
A coalition of leading LGBTQ rights groups joined together to release the most extensive summaries to date of scholarly data on the intersection of anti-LGBTQ and racial discrimination.
The research brief, authored by the What We Know Project at Cornell University, found overwhelming consensus among peer-reviewed and other studies that discrimination inflicts profoundly greater harm on LGBTQ people of color in a wide range of areas, including grossly disproportionate rates of experiencing discrimination over the past year, poorer mental and physical health, greater economic insecurity, and attempts to die by suicide. In addition, LGBTQ people of color are more likely than white LGBTQ people to live in states without protections against discrimination and that state anti-LGBTQ laws harm LGBTQ people.
“This research brief makes clear the tangible harms that discrimination inflicts on LGBTQ people of color, and the urgent need for public policy that reflects what the research tells us about how we can reduce those harms,” said Dr. Nathaniel Frank, the study’s author.
Highlights of the research brief’s findings include:
- 42% of LGBT people are people of color compared to 32% of non-LGBT people and the majority of Black LGBT Americans live in the South (51.4%, more than twice the share of any other region), where most states lack anti-discrimination protections.
- LGBTQ people of color are more than twice as likely to experience anti-LGBTQ discrimination (slurs or other verbal abuse) when applying for jobs than white LGBTQ individuals (32% vs. 13%).
- LGBTQ people of color are more than twice as likely as white LGBTQ people to experience anti-LGBTQ discrimination when interacting with the police (24% vs. 11%)
- The majority of Black LGBT people (56%) live in low-income households (below 200% of the federal poverty level) compared to 49% of Black non-LGBT Americans, and Black LGBT adults are also more likely to experience food insecurity than Black non-LGBT adults (37% compared to 27%).
- While 12% of white LGBTQ youth attempted suicide, the rate is 31% for LGBTQ Native/Indigenous youth, 21% for LGBTQ Black youth, and 18% of LGBTQ Latinx youth.