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Over 10% of LGBTI US Southerners have been unwelcome at a place of worship

Over 10% of LGBTI US Southerners have been unwelcome at a place of worship

Church in Alabama in the US South

A new study was recently released revealing what life is like for LGBTI people in the US South.

Georgia State University and the Center for Civil and Human Rights LGBTQ Institute published the LGBTQ Institute Southern Survey this month.

It summarizes answers from 6,502 LGBTI adults living in 14 states. The states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Differences in age, race, and more

The survey found differences in certain life aspects divided across age and race lines.

While 90% of the respondents said they went to a doctor, hospital, or clinic in the last year, the number was significantly lower for people of color and trans individuals.

Younger people in the South are more likely to be out in general. The rates of being out was higher, however, among people of color, both in terms of sexuality and gender identity.

This disparity continues along education and employment lines.

93.2% of LGBTQ Southerners reported having some college education, and 29.9% reported having a four-year degree. These stats were lower again among people of color and trans respondents.

Similarly, while a little over half of the respondents said they had a full-time job, trans people reported having full-time jobs less and also reported more discrimination.

Discrimination across the board

Discrimination was a common theme among the respondents, and higher in nearly every category among transgender people.

A quarter of LGB people, for example, said they received slurs and inappropriate jokes in the last year. Almost half of trans people reported the same thing.

Rates were higher and more close to being equal when respondents considered their whole lives. 77.4% of LGB people said they heard slurs in their life compared to 74.4% of trans people.

Religion is a major aspect of life in the South, but LGBTI people reported struggling with feeling welcome at places of worship.

In the last year, 14.1% of LGB people said they were not welcome, and 20.4% of trans people reported the same.

In their whole lives, 42% of LGB people reported this, while 47.8% of trans people agreed.

This unwelcome feeling was highest amongst black transgender respondents (37.1%).

Authors of the survey said the results ‘will be used to help raise awareness and contribute new scientific knowledge about the experiences and needs of LGBTQ people in the South’.

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