Black churches are often painted as the most vehement opponents of gay* and transgender equality, but two recent studies suggest that the lines between race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression tend to be blurred more frequently than some might think.
A Gallup poll released last week—the largest population-based study so far of the gay and transgender community—contradicts almost every stereotype that prevails about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Most surprisingly, it found that African Americans are more likely than any other ethnic or racial group to identify as gay and transgender. This finding flies in the face of media images and conservative fodder that portray the gay and transgender community as largely white and the black community as overwhelmingly straight.
It also contradicts the idea that there is an epidemic of closeted gay men on the “down low” that is exclusive to the black community. Young black men in particular (those between the ages of 18 and 29 years old) were 56 percent more likely than young white men in the same age group to identify as gay, which suggests that the closet is colorblind and might not be as large as conventional or popular wisdom would have us believe.
Read the rest at the Center for American Progress.