LGBTI discrimination costs Kenya up to $1.3 billion every year

Rainbow Pride at the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya

LGBTI discrimination and a lack of rights is hurting the economy of Kenya, a new report states.

Open for Business is an organization which gathers companies from across the globe advocating the idea that inclusion and diversity benefit the economy.

The coalition released a report on the state of Kenya’s economy and their lack of LGBTI protections this month.

Overall, the report found that LGBTI discrimination costs Kenya between $181 million (€159 million) to $1.3 billion (€1.1 billion) per year.

This is about 0.2% to 1.7% of the country’s annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is also 30% of the government’s spending on education and 144% of its spending on health in 2018.

Three major factors

Open for Business identified three major factors affected by LGBTI discrimination that could improve the economy.

The first is lost money from LGBTI tourists. Due to the lack of rights and protections in the country, LGBTI tourists are less likely to travel Kenya. Open for Business estimates the country is losing out on $64 million (€56 million) to $140 million (€123 million) because of this.

They also note the service sector of Kenya’s economy, of which tourism dominates, takes up about 64% of the GDP.

The second factor is poor healthcare in the country, especially for those who are HIV positive. This costs Kenya about $1 billion (€880 million) and 1.4% of their GDP. It’s also more than the entirety of what the government spent on all other healthcare costs in 2018.

Furthermore, depression amongst LGBTI people in Kenya, is another critical issue.

Graphis showing HIV and depression rates in Kenya

HIV and depression rates in Kenya | Photo: Open for Business

Finally, the underemployment, wage gaps, and lower productivity of LGBTI employees due to discrimination is costing the country $105 million (€92 million) per year.

How inclusion improves an economy

Open for Business offers 27 different propositions in three categories about how discrimination — or a lack thereof — impacts the economy.

Under ‘economic performance’, they state how discrimination creates roadblocks in reaching global markets. For ‘business performance’, more diverse companies are also more likely to benefit from LGBTI people’s consumer habits.

Finally, ‘individual performance’ offers the final eight propositions, including motivation, in which employees working in diverse and open environments are more motivated than others.

The graphs below show trends between LGBTI inclusion and economies.

LGBTI inclusion is linked to rises in GDP

LGBTI inclusion is linked to rises in GDP | Photo: Open for Business report

Graph about ease of business and LGBTI inclusion

The World Bank also shows that LGBTI inclusion establishes an ease of business in a country | Photo: Open for Business report

Finally, the report also shows that cities’ with higher scores of LGBTI inclusion generally have higher rates of quality of living as well.

Graph showing LGBTI inclusion means a higher quality of living

LGBTI inclusion means a higher quality of living | Photo: Open for Business report

This is an especially critical report at this time, as Kenya’s High Court postpones making a decision on decriminalizing homosexuality. They were supposed to give their ruling on 22 February but instead moved it to 24 May.

See also

UN moves LGBTI refugees to safe houses in Nairobi after Kenyan camp attacks

These statistics prove Illinois is a dream destination for LGBTI people

Newspaper accused of blaming ‘rise of gays’ for the stagnant economy

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post LGBTI discrimination costs Kenya up to $1.3 billion every year appeared first on Gay Star News.

1 in 4 preteen suicides are made up of LGBTI youth

Depression can drain you of hope and possibly lead to suicide

LGBTI youth (ages 12-14) make up nearly 1 in 4 preteen suicides, according to a new study.

This puts them at a significantly higher risk than their heterosexual peers, although the discrepancy decreases as they get older.

Geoffrey Ream of Adelphi University conducted and published the research in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

According to the paper, the purpose of the research was to ‘ explore variability in circumstances around suicide deaths among youth and young adults by sexual/gender identity category’.

Researchers looked at national data of over 10,000 suicides. They then narrowed and analyzed data from 2,209 individuals whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity were noted in the data.

The results

A majority of the victims from the data were heterosexual males (73%). Other groups followed: heterosexual females (18%), gay males (2.2%), lesbians (2.9%), bisexual males (0.8%), bisexual females (0.5%), transgender males (0.7%), and transgender females (0.5%).

However, LGBTI preteen youth became more likely to take their own life when compared to straight peers by age.

Lesbians and bisexual females were more than twice as likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual males.

The data further revealed trans males were almost four times as likely.

More specifically, bisexual females had the highest rates of suicide ideation. They were also 24 times more likely to have a diagnosed mental illness.

LGBTI youth contributed to 24% of preteen suicides overall in 2013-2015. This number dropped by eight points when the age range increased to 25-29.

The reasons

High suicide rates among LGBTI youth is not new information. Numerous studies before this one have shown that LGBTI youth worldwide struggle more with suicide ideation than their straight peers.

In the US, a recent report revealed half of transgender male teens attempted suicide.

Ream, however, said this study was meant to provide a context for these statistics.

‘We already knew, or at least suspected, that younger people are especially vulnerable to the stress of coming out,’ he explained. ‘This is because they don’t have the psychological resources or personal independence to handle things themselves that they will have when they are older.’

He found in his research that family problems contributed more to young LGBTI people’s suicides, while relationships with intimate partners was the bigger problem among LGBTI adults.

Further, one-third of LGBTI youth studied in the paper were being treated for a mental illness when they took their own life.

See also

LGBTI-inclusive anti-bullying laws linked to lower rates of teen suicides

Conversion therapy leads to high rate of suicidal thoughts among survivors

Bisexual actor Evan Rachel Wood opens up about PTSD and mental health stigma

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post 1 in 4 preteen suicides are made up of LGBTI youth appeared first on Gay Star News.

Nearly 2 in 10 black LGBTI youth in the US have been forced into sexual acts

A black woman looking down

Nearly two in 10 black LGBTI youth in the US have been forced to perform unwanted sexual acts, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.

Taking information from their 2018 HRC LGBTQ Youth Report, the Black & African American LGBTQ Youth Report specifically looks at the experiences of this community.

The report looks at areas of life such as family and school, mental health, racism, and more.

Suffering at home, school, and everywhere

A majority of black LGBTI youth say they have mental health struggles, most likely stemming from the discrimination, abuse, and isolation they feel.

80% reported feeling ‘usually’ feeling depressed or down, while another 90% said they have trouble sleeping at night.

Almost half (46%) are critical of their own identities as black LGBTI youth.

School, home, and other places are difficult for these members of the community. 47% said their families have mocked them for being LGBTI and only 1 in 5 said they can ‘definitely’ be themselves at home.

‘My mom supports gay people, but she doesn’t want a gay daughter,’ one respondent said.

At school, they face a slew of negativity for their identities. This includes verbal harassment (67%), physical threats (30%), and bullying (40%).

13% reported being sexually attacked or raped.

For all of these hardships, only 35% said they’ve received counseling in the past year.

The intersection of race and sexuality

‘My counselor is gay, so since he’s part of the LGBTQ community it makes me feel a lot better,’ one person said. ‘But what makes me uncomfortable is the fact that I’m black and he’s white, and he’s subtly pointed that out several times. Whether it was unconscious or not, it makes me feel uncomfortable.’

These youth not only have to navigate their sexual and gender identities, but their race as well.

90% said they’ve been racially discriminated against, and 98% said racism ‘affects the lives of black and African American people’.

A mere 5% believe black people are regarded positively in the US.

See also

We have to address the violence targeting LGBTI people of color

Two drag queens open up about the racism they face on the LGBTI scene

Anger over black and brown stripes on Pride flag shows problem with racism

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post Nearly 2 in 10 black LGBTI youth in the US have been forced into sexual acts appeared first on Gay Star News.