It’s no secret that the intersection of being queer and black creates a lot of marginalization, but many are not aware of just how much queer, black youth are at risk. A recent report from the Human Rights Campaign that looked at black, LGBTQ youth shows that nearly half of these youths are ridiculed by family members and nearly two in 10 are forced into sexual acts.
“We must confront the very real and present discrimination and institutional obstacles that prevent too many black and African American, LGBTQ young people from fully thriving and living as who they are,” director of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Program Ellen Kahn told Blavity.
According to the study, 77 percent of queer black youth have heard family members say negative things about the LGBTQ community, nearly 50 percent were taunted or mocked by a family member, and under 20 percent claimed they can be be themselves around family.
“Being in a predominantly white school set in its ways, talking about being LGBTQ … is very awkward & uncomfortable.”https://t.co/bPFGc7nmQW
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 17, 2019
The report also reveals that 18 percent of LGBTQ black youth have been forced into unwanted sexual situations. When it comes to transgender and gender-expansive black youth, that number rises to 27 percent.
The report also underlines the importance of having a safe and supportive home and family environment.
“Black and African American LGBTQ youth whose families provide safe, supportive, and affirming homes are more likely to experience positive health outcomes across several dimensions, including greater self-esteem and resilience, a lowered risk of depression; distress and feelings of hopelessness, and a reduced risk of substance abuse,” the report claims.
It’s clear from these numbers that queer youth of color are in special need of support. If you’d like to get involved and provide support, Rainbow Alley is a group in Denver that supports queer youth, and It Takes a Village is a group that supports LGBTQ people of color.