LGBTQ Workers of Color The Worst off According to HRC Report
Last week the Human Rights Campaign released a report detailing the unfair practices suffered by LGBTQ’s of color in the workplace.
“A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color” is a companion to the recently released report, “A Broken Bargain: Discrimination, Fewer Benefits, and More Taxes for LGBT Workers.” Both reports highlight the inequalities for LGBTQ employees, however this new report focuses specifically on non-white LGBTQ’s. Below are some details from the report, the entire report can be read here.
The basic American bargain is that people who work hard and meet their responsibilities should be able to get ahead. It is an agreement that workers will be judged and rewarded based on their contributions and capabilities— no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they are from. This basic bargain is not just an idea—it is embedded in laws that promote equal access to jobs and that protect workers from unfair practices.
For LGBT workers of color in America, this bargain is in tatters. Instead of having a fair chance to get ahead, LGBT workers of color often are held back by a combination of barriers that adversely affect their ability to get a quality education and find good, family-supporting jobs in workplaces that are free of discrimination. While it can be hard to identify exactly how the forces of bias and prejudice based on race, sexual orientation and gender identity intersect, the fact is that they do so to the detriment of LGBT workers of color, making them some of the most disadvantaged workers in the U.S. workforce.
Among the results of these inequities are extraordinarily high rates of unemployment and poverty for LGBT workers of color in the United States.
LGBT Workers of Color in America
Contrary to common stereotypes, LGBT people are more racially and ethnically diverse than the U.S. popula- tion as a whole. The report presents the latest demographic information about LGBT workers of color, including:
• As many as 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, MAP estimates that there are 5.4 million LGBT workers in the United States, of which 1.8 million are people of color.
• The LGBT population includes large numbers of immigrants. There are an estimated 904,000 LGBT adult immigrants in the United States; an estimated 32,300 binational same-sex couples (couples where one member is not an American citizen); and 11,700 same-sex couples where both members are not American citizens. Many of these immigrants are Latino or Asian.
• LGBT workers of color are geographically dispersed. Despite the common assumption that LGBT people
predominantly live in major metropolitan areas or in states with policies favorable to LGBT people, data from the Census tell a story of a population that is geographically dispersed throughout the nation. The same is true for LGBT 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 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 both among LGBT homeless youth, and among the broader homeless population. One study found that among homeless youth who identify as gay or lesbian, 44% identified as black and 26% identified 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 people in same-sex couples have poverty rates at least twice the rate of black people in opposite-sex married couples (18% vs. 8%).
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