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New Report: “A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color”
According to a new report, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) workers of color are among the most disadvantaged workers in America. Due to discrimination coupled with a lack of workplace protections, unequal job benefits and taxation, and unsafe, under-resourced U.S. schools, LGBT people of color face extraordinarily high rates of unemployment and poverty.
Freedom to Work co-authored the report – A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color — with the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), the Center for American Progress (CAP) and its FIRE Initiative, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in partnership with Color of Change, the Leadership Conference Education Fund, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the National Action Network, the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), Out and Equal Workplace Advocates, and SEIU.
You can read the full report online at this link.
Among its major findings:
- About one-third of LGBT people are people of color. In a 2012 Gallup poll, one in three LGBT respondents (33%) identified themselves as people of color, compared to 27% of non-LGBT respondents. In all, there are an estimated 5.4 million LGBT workers in the United States, of which 1.8 million are people of color.
- The geographic distribution of LGBT workers of color mirrors that of people of color as a whole. Census Data show LGBT people of color are more likely to live in areas with significant numbers of other people of color.
- Large numbers of LGBT workers of color are raising children. Data from the 2010 Census show that LGBT people of color are more likely to be raising children than white LGBT people. MAP estimates that between 780,000 and 1.1 million children are being raised by LGBT people of color.
- LGBT youth of color are at high risk of becoming homeless. An estimated 20-40% of homeless youth in the U.S. identify as LGBT or believe they may be LGBT. Research also shows that African American and Native American young people are overrepresented among LGBT homeless youth, as well as the broader homeless population. One study found that among homeless youth who identify as gay or lesbian, 44% identified as black and 26% as Latino.
- LGBT workers of color are at significant risk of being unemployed. LGBT people of color have higher rates of unemployment compared to non-LGBT people of color. In addition, unemployment rates for transgender people of color have reached as high as four times the national unemployment rate.
- LGBT workers of color are at significant risk of poverty. Research shows that LGBT people of color, and particularly black LGBT people, are at a much higher risk of poverty than non-LGBT people. For example, black same-sex couples have poverty rates at least twice the rate of black opposite-sex married couples (18% vs. 8%).