Author(s): Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
Published: Feb. 17, 2019
“In 2017, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation partnered with researchers at the University of Connecticut to conduct a groundbreaking survey of over 12,000 LGBTQ youth and capture their experiences in their families, schools, social circles and communities. More than 1,600 Black and African American LGBTQ youth responded to the survey. This resource presents data collected from these young people, shedding light on their challenges and triumphs encountered while navigating the world.
While there is immense power in being both a person of color and LGBTQ, holding multiple marginalized identities can magnify discrimination. This reality can have a devastating impact on Black and African American LGBTQ youth’s mental health and overall well-being. Virulent and inflammatory anti-Blackness from elected officials, negative portrayals in the media, and historically maintained systems of racial oppression complicate the ability of Black and African American LGBTQ youth to fully express and explore their intersecting racial and LGBTQ identities.
This resource draws on a subset of data from the 2018 HRC LGBTQ Youth Report to highlight the experiences of respondents who identified part or all of their ethnoracial identity as either Black or African American. We hope this information helps to encourage youth-serving professionals to apply an intersectional lens to their work.
Supportive parents, school administrators, teachers, counselors and other youth-serving professionals play an essential role in the lives of Black and African American LGBTQ youth. The support of these adults is especially important when youth struggle in the absence of affirmation from their families and communities regarding their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
However, Black and African American LGBTQ youth continue to be their own powerful forces of change; their stories of empowerment, resilience, activism and advocacy are pronounced in these findings. Across the country, they are demanding due respect and equity. They need us to do the same.
We must support Black and African American LGBTQ youth in their pursuit of collective equity, inclusion and racial justice.”