36% of LGBTQ People Still Face Major Life-Altering Discrimination, Survey Shows

According to new survey results released this week, a whopping 36% of same-sex couples and other LGBTQ Americans still face significant discrimination in the US. Among transgender individuals, that number practically doubles. Read on for the results, along with how these acts of discrimination affect their everyday life.

Survey shows 36% of LGBTQ Americans Face Life-Altering Discrimination

The Center for American Progress surveyed 1,528 LGBTQ individuals, according to the Discrimination and Experiences Among LGBTQ People in the US: 2020 Survey Results. Let’s look at the results of the survey. Then we’ll see how this discrimination affects the everyday lives of LGBTQ Americans.

Results of the 2020 Center for American Progress Survey

LGBTQ survey on discrimination

When asked if, in the past year, they’ve “experienced discrimination of any kind based on your race or ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, economic status, immigration status, or age,” 36% replied “yes.|

However, 62% of transgender and 69% of non-binary individuals answered “yes.” Gen Z LGBTQ individuals experienced discrimination at higher rates than Millennials, GenX and Boomers, with 57% answered “yes” compared to 42%, 30%. and 19% respectively.

Here’s a breakdown of how that discrimination takes place.

More than one in 5 transgender students face bullying & harassment

Next, the survey focused on bullying, harassment, or discrimination specifically in school settings. Overall, 21% of LGBTQ individuals answered “yes.” Again, that number was higher for transgender students (28%). Both women and non-binary individuals experienced such discrimination at a slightly higher rate than men (24% each, compared to 15% for men).

Over 1/3 of LGBTQ people are discriminated against at work

Discrimination in the workplace is another major issue, according to the results. 36% of all LGBTQ respondents said “yes.” Interestingly, in this case, cisgender individuals reported more discrimination than transgender respondents, with 37% vs 36% respectively.

One in 4 Black LGBTQ Americans experienced mistreatment by law enforcement

When asked, “have you experienced mistreatment or discrimination interacting with law enforcement?” 15% of all LGBTQ individuals answered “yes.” That number rises exponentially for transgender and Black LGBTQ Americans. Respectively, 21% and 25% answered “yes.”

More than half of all LGBTQ respondents reported experiencing harassment or discrimination in public spaces.

More than half (51%) of all LGBTQ respondents replied “yes” when asked if they’ve experienced harassment in public spaces. Slightly more cisgender individuals than transgender (52% to 49%) dealt with such harassment.

Millennials and Gen X also reported higher numbers than Gen Z or Boomers (57% and 55% to 41% and 43%, respectively).

Effects of Discrimination on Everyday Behavior of LGBTQ Citizens

The next portion of the survey examined how discrimination adversely affected everyday life and behavior of the respondents.

Nearly 2 in 3 harassed LGBTQ citizens hide their relationships because of it

According to the survey, 73% of all those who reported discrimination in the past year went on to hide their personal relationships to avoid experiencing even more discrimination and harassment.

20% of transgender adults delayed having kids because of discrimination

Overall, 17% of all LGBTQ respondents said that they delayed having kids due to discrimination. However, one in 5 transgender adults responded “yes,” compared to 10% of cisgender respondents.

Nearly half of all LGBTQ Americans avoid police out of fear of discrimination

When asked if they’ve avoided law enforcement in order to avoid experiencing discrimination, 48% said yes. The number is slightly higher for transgender citizens, with exactly half (50%) saying yes. Black LGBTQ citizens are 12% more likely than white citizens to avoid law enforcement out of fear.

More than half are avoiding public places out of fear

When asked if they’ve avoided public places- like stores and restaurants- out of fear of discrimination, 56% answered yes.

Also, 54% have avoided churches and other places of worship due to harassment.

One third of respondents moved away to avoid harassment.

Sadly, 32% of respondents even replied that they’ve moved away from their rural homes entirely to avoid harassment.

Worse, 45% moved away from family and other loved ones due to discrimination.

One in 3 LGBTQ Americans avoid getting much-needed services due to discrimination

Perhaps the most concerning response of all, nearly 1/3 of all LGBTQ respondents said that they avoid “getting services you needed for yourself or your family in order to avoid experiencing discrimination.” For transgender individuals, that number rises to 39%.

65% of all LGBTQ respondents have changed their behavior, period

The final question asked whether respondents changed their behavior because of their sexual orientation. 65% answered “yes.” That’s more than 6 out of every 10 LGBTQ citizens who are making notable changes to their own behavior due to others’ behavior.

The survey also includes details about physical and mental health, access to medical care, and other vital factors that affect the community. It’s worth reading in full to get a better picture of what’s changed- and what hasn’t- over the last year.

Do you agree with the findings of the survey? As an LGBTQ individual, have you changed your own behavior because of someone else’s discriminatory practices? Share below.

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