Study Offers Stats on Black LGBTQ People and their Families

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By TJ Acena, PQ Monthly
Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO, National Black Justice Coalition, has a blog up on Huff Post right now on the state of African American LGBTQ people and their families. Unsurprisingly, they are not doing as well as white LGBTQ people. Lettman-Hicks draws on LGBT Families of Color: Fact at a Glance, a 2012 report by the NBJC, and a new report from the Williams Institute at the University of California to give us the overview. Here are some highlights: --3.7% of African American adults identify as LGBTQ (a little over 1 million). --Most African Americans who identify as LGBTQ live in the South. Oregon seems to have the least among the west coast (also not surprisingly considering Oregon’s history of trying to keep African Americans from moving to the state in the 1800’s). --58% of African American same-sex couples are female. --African Americans who identify as LGBTQ report lower rates of college completion than non-LGBTQ adults. --African American LGBTQ have a higher rate of unemployment than non-LGBTQ African Americans (15% vs 12%). --34% of African American same-sex couples are raising children. --African American same sex couples are much more likely to be raising children than white same sex couples. --32% of children raised by same-sex African American male couples live in poverty. Compared to 12% of African American heterosexual couples. --African-American same-sex couples raising children report household median incomes $15,000 lower than comparable African-American different-sex couples ($47,300 vs. $63,020). --African American same-sex couples are less likely to have health insurance and less likely to have health insurance that covers both partners. The report from the Williams Institute brings up another interesting point: African-American same sex couples tend to live in African American communities rather than LGBTQ communities. It’s interesting to think about in the context Portland, where gentrification has been pushing the African American communities further out of the city over the last few decades. "LGBT Families of Color: Fact at a Glance" also points out the important statistic that media attention on LGBT families mainly focuses on upper-middle class white urban couples and this "does not reflect many LGBT families" (remember that that LGBTQ families of color are much more likely to have children than their white counterparts). Lettman-Hicks sums up these reports: These statistics speak volumes about the Black LGBT community and the disparities we face in America. However, the work of the Williams Institute has begun to strip away the veil of invisibility. We finally have a clear picture and frame of reference for where we are and where we need to go. BlogTail_TJ (1)