BLACK VOICES
10/18/2013 06:19 pm ET

Report Reveals That One Million African-Americans Identify As LGBT

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A new report is shedding light on the growing number of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in the black community.

According to a recent study, there are more than one million African-American LGBT adults in the U.S. Of those individuals, 84,000 are in same-sex households with about 34 percent of couples raising children. These numbers come about a year after a Gallup report that found African-Americans make up the largest share of the LGBT community.

The report highlights some key findings, including the fact that 58 percent of African-American LGBT couples are female, and the economic challenges many LGBT African-Americans face.

For example, the report finds overall higher unemployment rates and lower proportions with a college degree among LGBT African-Americans, when compared to their non-LGBT counterparts. However, these disadvantages are not present among African-Americans in same-sex couples, with 25 percent having completed a college degree, compared to 22 percent of African-Americans in heterosexual couples. In addition, 71 percent of African-Americans in same-sex couples are employed compared to 68 percent of their heterosexual counterparts.

The study also highlighted a prevalence of interracial relationships, a trend that is on the rise nationally for heterosexual couples. According to its findings, 47 percent of same sex couples with one African-American partner feature another partner of another race.

Nationally, how African-American same-sex couples fare compared to heterosexual couples varied significantly based on gender and whether or not the couple was raising children. For example, female African-American same-sex couples earn over $20,000 less than male African-American same-sex couples. Further, African-American same-sex couples raising children, report household median incomes $15,000 lower than comparable African-American different-sex couples.

Another significant finding was that many African-American LGBT individuals live in regions that have a high population of black residents but have yet to pass laws that protect the LGBT community, which co-author Angeliki Kastanis said could have a huge effect.

"LGBT African-American parents and their children evidence significant economic disadvantage and many live in states without LGBT anti-discrimination laws or marriage equality," Kastanis said. "Establishing these important legal protections could really help these families."

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