First Large Scale Report on Black LGBT Community Released
by GayHealth Staff
Hate crimes and violence, HIV/AIDS, drugs, healthcare and education are among the most important issues facing the Black GLBT community, according to a survey of 2,650 Black GLBT people surveyed between April and September 2000.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) joined several Black researchers and nine Black GLBT Pride Organizations to develop the Black Pride Survey 2000, the first survey to examine the health concerns, political views and demographics of Black GLBT people. The researchers collected demographics and the report addresses the perceived needs of the Black GLBT community.
"The Black GLBT community has much in common with the overall Black community, and shares many common concerns with GLBT people of other races. But Black GLBT people also have particular experiences and concerns," according to the report.
The participants, who were identified at Black Pride Events in nine different cities, were on average college educated, middle class males in their mid-thirties. Most of the participants were Baptist, and reported negative experiences in church because of their sexuality. On average, participants agreed that racism is a problem in the White GLBT community and homophobia a problem in the Black community. One in five respondents reported being biological parents and 2.2 percent reported being adoptive or foster parents.
"This report provides a first-time comprehensive look at the demographics, experiences, and priorities of Black gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people," said Dr. Juan Battle and Dr. Cathy J. Cohen, the study's lead researchers and primary authors. "It contains significant policy implications for the predominantly White GLBT community, and for the predominantly straight African American community. This report also provides much-needed data on an underserved and understudied population which is an integral part of both the Black community and the GLBT community."
Nearly half of the sample identified as gay, while one quarter chose the label lesbian. Eleven percent of participants said they were bisexual, and one percent identified as transgender. Men were more likely than women to self identify as bisexual. Women were more likely to report exclusive homosexual behavior by more than 15 percent.
Most participants believed HIV/AIDS is an important issue facing the Black GLBT community. Female respondents said that overall, the most important issues facing Black GLBT people are HIV/AIDS, hate crimes and violence, and marriage and domestic partnership. Men said HIV/AIDS, hates crimes and violence and health care were the most important issues. And among transgender respondents HIV/AIDS was tied with job discrimination/ lack of jobs, followed by hate crimes and violence and drugs. Overall the three most important issues facing all blacks were drugs, education and HIV/AIDS.
In a report released by the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation in February of more than 2,500 adults 18 and older -- including about 430 African Americans and 550 Latinos -- AIDS was ranked the number one health issue facing the nation by 42 percent of those surveyed. Seventy percent of African Americans said AIDS is a more urgent problem for the nation than it was a few years ago; 41 percent of African Americans said that AIDS is a more urgent problem for their local community than it was a few years ago. Fifty-seven percent of African Americans said they know someone who has HIV/AIDS or has died of AIDS, compared to 42 percent of whites or 38 percent of Latinos. Nearly half of African Americans view AIDS as the most urgent health problem facing the world today.
Two thirds of the NGLTF respondents were registered democrats, and ten percent were registered republicans. Women were much more likely than men and transgender people to report voting.
Half of the respondents agreed that racism is a problem for Black GLBT people in the GLBT community. A third reported negative experiences in White GLBT organizations, and with White GLBT people in bars and clubs, with a little less than a third reporting positive experiences in these contexts. Two thirds agreed that homophobia is a problem within the black community. Twenty-five percent of respondents said that their church was accepting of their homosexuality.
Say It Loud: Iím Black and Iím Proud is the third report released by NGLTF's Policy Institute in the last year that examines issues of concern to GLBT people of color and low-income people of all backgrounds. The previous two studies examined the effects of welfare reform on GLBT families and the impact of social discrimination on HIV risk among Latino gay men. All three reports are available at http://www.ngltf.org/library. For more information about the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative or the Black Pride Survey Project, please visit http://www.ngltf.org/pi/blackpride.htm.
Updated: Tuesday, April 9th 2002
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