LGBTQ+ and INTERSECTIONALITY
Tammy Baldwin, United States Senator
The LGBTQ+ community has made significant strides toward equality, including the landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2015 giving same-sex couples the right to marry. However, ongoing discrimination – rooted in homophobia and transphobia – has a significant negative impact on members of the LGBTQ+ community, including:
- Increased physical and emotional health risks
- Becoming victims of violence
- Career and financial instability
- Higher rates of homelessness, especially among LGBTQ+ youth
With these risks in mind, today’s LGBTQ+ activists are not only focused on policies and legislation that protect their communities from discrimination, but they are also increasingly focused on issues such as intersectionality, transgender rights, and achieving greater representation of marginalized groups within the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, 42% of LGBTQ adults identity as people of color. This is slightly more diverse than the overall U.S. adult population, which is 60% white/Caucasian. he higher representation of people of color in LGBTQ communities is in part related to age. With increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people, younger generations are more likely to be out as LGBTQ. Younger people are also more likely to be of color, which is the main reason that a large proportion of people of color identify as LGBTQ. From service provision to movement building, there is a need to respond and adapt to a new generation in the U.S. that is more diverse than any previous generation in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
At the intersection of two marginalized identities, LGBTQ people of color often face stark disparities:
- One in five youth in the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTQ, 85 percent of whom are people of color.
- LGBT people of color face high rates of unemployment: 15 percent of African American LGBT adults are unemployed, as are 14 percent of Latinx LGBT adults and 11 percent of API LGBT adults—compared to 8 percent unemployment for the general population.
- Gay and bisexual men of color continue to make up the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections in the U.S., with Black men accounting for 39 percent of 2014 HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, and Latinos accounting for 24 percent.
TODAY’S CHALLENGE: Do one or more of the following…
According to Movement Advancement Project, 12% of LGBTQ individuals in Louisiana from 2 cities statewide (New Orleans and Shreveport) have ordinances prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in private employment, housing, and public accommodations. This infographic (PDF) shares additional statistics about policies and laws affecting the LGBTQ in Louisiana.
Kimberlé Crenshaw, a 2017 NAIS People of Color Conference speaker, civil rights advocate, and professor at UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, talks about intersectional theory, the study of how overlapping or intersecting social identities—and particularly minority identities—relate to systems and structures of discrimination. (1:54)
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CONVERSATION PIECE: Art Addressing Equity
Artist: Tama Nathan • Title: All There Is
A special thanks to the Downtown Development Authority for providing this art.