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

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LGBTI alumni accuse gay university doctor of sexual abuse

A doctor with their hand on a man's back

Six male graduates are accusing a former doctor at the University of Southern California (USC) of sexual abuse.

The graduates, who all identify as gay or bisexual, filed a  lawsuit this week, formally accusing Dr. Dennis Kelly of sexual battery and harassment during medical appointments.

As first reported by the Los Angeles Times, the suit alleges Kelly ‘made demeaning remarks… about their sexual practices and performed unnecessary rectal exams designed to embarrass them or “to satisfy his own prurient sexual desires.”‘

It further states Kelly, upon learing his patients had sex with other men, asked them questions about pornography consumption and sexual hookups.

He also allegedly told them to undress, watching them as they did so, and get on their hands and knees.

One plaintiff, 26, said he felt Kelly suddenly ‘insert something for about 30 seconds’ without any warning.

The men filed the suit anonymously. They are now seeking compensation for ‘negligent hiring and supervision’.

As students, they did not file a formal complaint with USC or contact the police. One of the plaintiffs, however, did say he told another doctor who reportedly said the rectal exam ‘shouldn’t have happened’.

Denial of wrongdoing

Kelly, 72, retired last year. He’s openly gay and said throughout his career he devoted himself to helping LGBTI patients.

In a phone interview with the LA Times, he denied all wrongdoing and called the allegations ‘terribly hurftul’.

‘I can’t second-guess or question anything I’ve done,’ he further said. ‘I know I did it all professionally and without any other motive.’

Directly addressing the accusations, Kelly said he either turned away or left the room while patients undressed. He also said it was standard practice to ‘perform a rectal swab while also inspecting for anal warts’.

The second lawsuit

This lawsuit follows a second lawsuit that accused a USC gynecologist of sexual abuse. The university is now reportedly moving forward with a $215-million-class-action settlement in that case.

A spokesperson for USC released a statement to the LA Times about the case against Kelly:

‘We’re working to understand the facts of this matter. We care deeply about our entire Trojan family, including our LGBTQ-plus community, and take this matter very seriously.’

GSN contacted USC for further comment.

See also

Gay Men’s Chorus of LA leader steps down after claims of sexual misconduct

School gay-straight alliances make straight kids feel safer, research says

Rami Malek says working with Brian Singer was not ‘pleasant’ for him

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post LGBTI alumni accuse gay university doctor of sexual abuse appeared first on Gay Star News.

South Dakota passes anti-trans bill banning gender discussion in schools

Poster at the University of Oregon's student government supporting LGBTI students.

Lawmakers in the South Dakota House of Representatives passed an anti-transgender bill on Tuesday (12 February).

House Bill 1108 addresses the discussion of gender identity and gender dysphoria. If it becomes law, it will ‘ prohibit certain gender dysphoria instruction in public schools’.

More specifically, it states that there can be ‘no instruction’ on such topics to any student in K-7 grades.

Several state representatives and senators, all of whom are Republican, co-sponsored the bill. They first introduced the bill in January.

One of the sponsors, Rep. Tom Pischke (R-Dell Rapids), explained his support of the bill: ‘I’m 36 years old, and I’m still confused as to what woman-ness and man-ness is, so I don’t know why we’d be teaching that to someone in the fourth grade.’

Criticism from teachers and LGBTI groups

Some teachers and advocates testified against the bill. They said it addresses a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

Sioux Falls teacher Tony Martinet said: ‘I think one of the problems with this bill is it implies a lack of trust in our educators to make appropriate decisions about their students.’

Cathryn Oakley, state legislative director and senior counsel at the Human Rights Campaign, said the intent of the bill is ‘clearly to discriminate against transgender and gender non-conforming South Dakotans’.

‘It would send a strong message to LGBTQ youth that they are less than their peers,’ she continued.

‘South Dakota was the first state to introduce anti-transgender legislation that would bar trans kids from accessing facilities consistent with their gender identity, and it seems intent on being on the forefront of discrimination yet again, at the risk being out of step with the rest of the country. We implore the Senate to vote against this harmful legislation.’

The ACLU of the state also condemned the bill.

Libby Skarin, policy director, said: ‘It is this type of hostility toward young transgender people from adult leaders that contributes to the high rates of depression and even suicide among transgender young people in our state.’

See also

North Dakota politicians block LGBTI anti-discrimination bill

More than half of US states are ‘high priority’ for lacking LGBTI equality

Majority of United States schools are unsafe for LGBTI students

Author: Anya Crittenton

The post South Dakota passes anti-trans bill banning gender discussion in schools appeared first on Gay Star News.