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.
Author: Anya Crittenton
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