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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 05:27 PM

Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality


While some states and the federal government continue to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, more than half of all states still deny them basic civil rights. Such systemic inequities render people of color who are also gay and transgender among the most vulnerable in our society

Liberty and justice for all is not yet a reality in America. Despite the election of our nationís first African American president, black Americans continue to trail behind their white counterparts in education, employment, and overall health and wellbeing. And while some states and the federal government continue to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, more than half of all states still deny them basic civil rights. Such systemic inequities render people of color who are also gay and transgender among the most vulnerable in our society.

Black gay and transgender Americans in particular experience stark social, economic, and health disparities compared to the general population and their straight black and white gay counterparts. According to the data we currently have, families headed by black same-sex couples are more likely to raise their children in poverty, black lesbians are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases, and black gay and transgender youth are more likely to end up homeless and living on the streets.

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In short, black gay and transgender people fall through the cracks when lumped under either a gay or black umbrella. Such categorical thinking ignores the fact that black gay and transgender people are at once both gay and transgender and black. As a result they experience complex vulnerabilities that stem from the combination of racial bias and discrimination due to their sexual orientation and/ or gender identity. So advocacy agendas that prioritize the eradication of one bias over the other do not fully respond to the needs of the populationónor will they eliminate the inequities discussed in this report.

Going forward, it is necessary to find policy solutions that will empower black gay and transgender people rather than fragment them. And we need to move beyond the dichotomy of race versus sexual orientation or race versus gender identity to do so. Scholars such as Kimberle Crenshaw, Cathy J. Cohen, and C. Nicole Mason offer frameworks for applying this intersectional lens to policy analysis and advocacy in order to understand how race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity influence public policy choices at the national, state, and local levels, as well as individual outcomes. Our analysis is drawn in part from their theories.


Colorlines Magazine featured this story last Friday, (1/20/12) but the information above comes from The Center for American Progress. If you're making an effort to become a better ally and advocate for LGBT POC, this is a great place to start.

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Reply Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality (Original post)
Duncan Grant Jan 2012 OP
William769 Jan 2012 #1
xchrom Jan 2012 #2

Response to Duncan Grant (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 10:14 PM

1. Recommended.

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Response to Duncan Grant (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 11:49 AM

2. du rec. nt

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