A comprehensive new analysis into issues facing the US LGBTQ community has found only 18% of LGBTQ adults say they are ‘very happy’, compared to 30% of the general public.
The data is part of a project called Our Tomorrow. Researchers analyzed more than 100 studies and academic journals, as well as feedback from thousands of people across the US.
The study’s authors hope that it will be used in partnership with non-profits like GLAAD and the National LGBTQ Task Force, providing data to better engage lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other gender-nonconforming and questioning individuals across the country.
‘This campaign is designed to shine the spotlight and offer inspiration to people in the movement to address the needs of the community,’ Doug Hattaway, President of Hattaway Communications who helped organize the study, told The Advocate.
‘We were surprised to see this “happiness gap”.
‘Given all the positive conversation over victories with marriage, it was sobering to see people don’t see their lives positively.’
Part of the study, analyzing ‘Hopes and Fears’, found 92% of LGBTQ adults believe US society is more accepting of LGBTQ people than it was 10 years ago. A similar 92% also believe that in ten years society will be even more accepting.
However, the data also shows 58% of LGBTQ adults say they have been subject to bigoted slurs or jokes at some point in their lives. Meanwhile, 30% said they have been physically attacked or threatened.
An analysis of LGBTQ diversity has also found that more than half – 55% – of those who identify as LGBTQ live in the South or Midwest, where most states have no legal protections from discrimination against those who identify as LGBTQ.
Meanwhile, 51% of LGBTQ adults reported a religious affiliation – most of them Christian. Seventeen per cent said religion is very important in their lives.
The project welcomes further members of the public to take its survey online, to add their voice to a growing bank of data about LGBTQ ideas, hopes and fears, like this response from Katherine in Fayetteville, North Carolina:
‘My fear is that I may be physically abused just because I’m trans. The new so-called “bathroom bills” could force me, a transgender woman, to use the men’s room in a public place like a restaurant or bar, where I would clearly be out of place. This opens me to physical and verbal abuse and could result in my being arrested if I am found using the women’s room based on my gender identity.
‘I fear that when I move to another location that I may not find preferred housing because I’m trans. There are no protections in NC against discrimination.’
Desiree in Denton, Texas, offered this ‘Hope’:
‘My hope: Equality. I just want to be seen as me. My hope is to change the white-Christian-straight-male default that people see, so that everyone else isn’t an “other.” Equality is key.’
And an ‘Idea’ from Martin in Memphis, Tennessee, was as follows:
‘My idea: Continue fighting for equality. Just because we have won one (major) battle, we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to strive to eliminate barriers in the areas of housing, employment, and elder-care.’