According to a new poll by National Public Radio (NPR), a majority of LGBTQ Americans have experienced homophobic violence.
NPR conducted the poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health from January to April. They surveyed 489 US adults and each question was asked of half the sample.
The poll is part of NPR’s Discrimination in America series. This recent installment focuses entirely on the experience of LGBTQ Americans.
‘There are very few nationally representative polls of LGBTQ people, and even fewer that ask about LGBTQ people’s personal experiences of discrimination,’ said Logan Casey, deputy director of the survey and research associate in public opinion at the Harvard Chan School.
Personal experience with discrimination
57% of LGBTQ Americans say they have personally experienced slurs related to their sexual or gender identity. Another 51% say they or an LGBTQ friend or family member have experienced homophobic violence.
Breaking down the kind of discrimination, 57% have experienced threats or nonsexual harassment.
Another 51% experienced sexual harassment and a final 34% faced verbal harassment or questioning in a bathroom.
Age and race discrimination
NPR found there is an age gap when it comes to views of discrimination.
A majority (59%) of those aged 50+ think the biggest problem of LGBTQ Americans facing discrimination comes from one-on-one prejudice.
However, younger people, those aged between 18 and 49 (around 38%) think law and government policies are a bigger problem.
‘Older generations of LGBTQ people came of age at a time when legal protections were nearly unthinkable and activists agitated in mass scale social movements,’ Casey explained.
There is also a significant gap when it comes to race.
20% of all LGBTQ people say they’ve experienced discrimination when applying to jobs. People of color face it more, though. 32% of LGBTQ people of color reported discrimination compared to 13% of white LGBTQ people.
The same goes for interacting with police. 24% of LGBTQ people of color reported discrimination here compared to 11% of white LGBTQ people.
Furthermore, LGBTQ people of color are six times more likely to avoid calling the police (30%) than white LGBTQ people (5%).
‘Research shows that experiencing discrimination has harmful effects on health,’ said Casey.