Today, President Biden signed a sweeping executive order directing federal agencies to adopt a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all, including in federal employment, policies, programs, and services. This is the first day one executive order by a President to address LGBT people specifically and the first-ever executive action to mention those who identify as "queer" by name.
According to Williams Institute research, 13 millionLGBTQ youth and adults live in the US. LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination in all areas of their lives. Recent Williams Institute researchhas documented discrimination against LGBTQ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, health care, and other settings.
Nearly 40% of LGBT adults in the U.S. are people of color. Adults who identify as LGBT are more racially and ethnically diverse than the general population. Many LGBT people of color are particularly vulnerable to poverty, food insecurity, and homelessness. A 2019 study found both LGBT and non-LGBT racial minorities had higher rates of poverty than white people.
"Economic insecurity is notably high at the intersection of race and sexual orientation and gender identity," said Bianca D.M. Wilson, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "Policies to secure racial equity must take into account the unique needs and experiences of LGBT people of color, who are often particularly vulnerable based on their multiple marginalized identities."
Key findings from Williams Institute research include
- An analysis of data collected by Gallup found that 60% of LGB people report being fired from or denied a job compared to 40% of heterosexual people.
- The same analysis found that 15% of LGB people report being prevented from moving into or buying a house compared to 6% of heterosexual people.
- Stigma and discrimination increase the risk for mental distress, mental, health problems, suicide, and lower social wellbeing among LGB people compared to their non-LGB counterparts.
- 17% of LGB adults and 30% of transgenderadults have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, compared to 6% of the general population.
- 22% of LGBT adults live in poverty in the U.S. compared to 16% of non-LGBT people.
- 9% of LGBT adults are unemployedcompared to 5% of non-LGBT people.
- 27% of LGBT adults experience food insecurity compared to 17% of non-LGBT adults.
LGBTQ people of color are even more likely to experience economic hardships.
- Nearly 40% of LGBT people are people of color, including Latino/a (22%), Black (12%), Asian (2%), Native American/Alaskan Native (1%), Hawaiian Native/other Pacific Islander (1%).
- Among the transgender population, 16%identify as Black, 21% identify as Latino, and8% identify as another race or ethnicity.
- LGBT people of color are more likely to live in poverty than white LGBT people: 37% of Latino/a LGBT people, 31% of Black LGBT people, 23% of Asian LGBT people, and 22% of multiracial LGBT people live in poverty, compared to 15% of white LGBT people.
- Among LGBT people, 38% of multiracial people, 37% of Black people, and 32% of Latino/a report not having enough money for food in the past year, compared to 22% of white LGBT people.
- LGBT people of color have similar or higher rates of unemployment compared to white LGBT people: 11% of Black LGBT people,9% of Latino/a people LGBT people, and 7%of LGBT Asian LGBT people are unemployed, compared to 7% of white LGBT people.
The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, is dedicated to conducting rigorous, independent research with real-world relevance.