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Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Within the Larger LGBTQ Community, People of Color Experience Higher Rates of Discrimination
Press Release

RELEASE: Within the Larger LGBTQ Community, People of Color Experience Higher Rates of Discrimination

Washington, D.C. — LGBTQ people have long experienced disproportionate rates of discrimination compared with the general population, across virtually every facet of society. Even in 2021, no federally guaranteed protections exist for individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

But even within the LGBTQ community, there are compounded impacts of discrimination along racial lines. New analysis from the Center for American Progress found that LGBTQ people of color experience higher rates of discrimination compared with the white LGBTQ population.

These latest findings stem from a nationally representative survey of more than 1,500 LGBTQ+-identifying adults conducted in 2020 by CAP and NORC at the University of Chicago. In the year prior to the survey, LGBTQ people of color reported experiencing discrimination at a rate 12 percentage points higher than white LGBTQ respondents—with differences particularly prominent in health care, housing, and economic stability. Overall, 43 percent of LGBTQ people of color reported experiencing discrimination in the year prior: 1 in 4 reported some form of negative or discriminatory treatment from a doctor or health care provider; nearly half reported that discrimination has affected their ability to rent or purchase a home to some degree; and 1 in 3 reported staying away from public spaces to avoid facing discrimination.

The findings underscore the need for intersectional approaches to large-scale problems. LGBTQ people of color face compounded levels of discrimination, and any effort to provide assistance for the LGBTQ community must address the specific and unique concerns of people of color.

“These survey data emphasize what LGBTQ communities of color have always known: that discrimination compounds for sexual and gender minorities who also face race-based mistreatment and that this holds true in a wide variety of settings,” said Lindsay Mahowald, a research assistant with the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at CAP and the author of this column. “Policymakers must respond to the diverse and complex needs of LGBTQ individuals with intersecting identities.”

Read the full column here: “LGBTQ People of Color Encounter Heightened Discrimination: 2020 Survey Results on Experiences in Health Care, Housing, and Education” by Lindsay Mahowald

For more information on LGBTQ+ people of color or to speak with an expert, please contact Adam Peck at [email protected].