The State of Gay and Transgender Communities of Color in 2012: The Epic Report Co-Authored by Aisha

Aisha and Melissa Dunn have put together an amazing report on the state of LGBT communities of color for the Center for American Progress:

Three years after the Great Recession, the United States is seeing a recovering economy and a growing job market. Congress has passed Wall Street reforms, and affordable health insurance is benefiting millions of Americans. Despite this progress, however, communities of colorthroughout the United States still face economic challenges and fewer opportunities than their white counterparts. Americans of color are less likely to be homeowners, to hold steady employment, or to have health insurance. Even as the economy recovers, these communities are still being left behind.

These issues are exacerbated for gay and transgender people of color, who bear the brunt of the disparities experienced by both the gay community and communities of color.[1] For example, a recent report by CAP’s FIRE Initiative found that the combined exposure to antigay and/or antitransgender policies, along with institutionalized racial discrimination, derails black gay and transgender Americans’ financial stability, creates barriers to accessing quality health care, and erodes safeguards for gay and transgender families. This is also true for other gay and transgender communities of color.

Consequently, gay and transgender people of color face high rates of unemployment or underemployment, overall lower rates of pay, higher rates of poverty, and a greater likelihood of being uninsured. The youth in these communities also experience lower educational attainment and higher rates of homelessness than their peers.

Unwelcoming school climates, employment discrimination, and outdated family policies—which bar gay and transgender parents from having legal relationships to their children and limit their access to safety net programs, family tax credits, and health insurance—perpetuate these negative outcomes.

Federal policies that address these problems and that level the playing field for gay and transgender Americans will help tackle these disparities and eliminate the systemic anti-gay bias that thwarts the ability of gay and transgender communities of color to thrive.

We summarize some of these policies at the end of this brief, but first we examine in detail the challenges and disparities these communities face.

You can read and download the piece on CAP’s website.