Media coverage often portrays rural America as singularly white, conservative and working-class. Yet at least 10 million people of color, including LGBT people of color, call rural America home.
Today, MAP released a new report, Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America, which examines the unique challenges of LGBT people of color in rural America and highlights distinct experiences across different communities of color. As the second publication in the Where We Call Home series, this report details how the structural challenges of rural life amplify acceptance of or discrimination against LGBT people of color.
Click here to read the exclusive Advocate op-ed about the report.
MAP is thrilled to release this report in conjunction with the LGBTQ Presidential Forum—hosted by The Advocate, One Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Gazette, and GLAAD—which will be streamed live on MSNBC. Tune in and see MAP’s policy work take center stage along with the Democratic Party candidates.
This report offers extensive new findings on LGBT people of color in rural communities, where discrimination based on race and immigration status is compounded by discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. Some key findings of the report include:
- People of color, including those in rural areas, are more likely than white people to identify as LGBT: people of color comprise 42% of the national LGBT population, compared to 36% of the total U.S. population.
- LGBT people of color in rural states are especially vulnerable to discrimination. Overall, rural states are significantly less likely than majority urban states to have vital nondiscrimination protections, and are also more likely to have harmful, discriminatory laws.
- LGBT people of color experience similar or higher rates of both poverty and unemployment compared to both non-LGBT people of color and white people.
- Smaller populations in rural communities mean any “difference” is more noticeable. For LGBT people of color, increased visibility as both people of color and as LGBT people in rural communities may mean further vulnerability.
- LGBT people of color have fewer support structures and resources that accept them both as a person of color and someone who is LGBT. The relative social and geographic isolation of rural areas can compound this problem. For example, LGBT-focused programs in rural areas, if available at all, may not fully recognize or be equipped to support people who are both LGBT and a person of color, and programs for people of color in rural areas may not be accepting of people of color who are also LGBT.
Click here to view infographics pulled from Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America.
Because LGBT people of color may experience discrimination based on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity and their race or ethnicity, passing nondiscrimination protections at the federal, state, and local level is vital to ensure full participation in all aspects of life. Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America concludes with recommendations for community organizations, educators, healthcare providers and policymakers to address the specific needs of LGBT people of color in rural communities.