According to a new report released recently by a broad coalition of research and advocacy organizations, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) women are among the most at risk of poverty in America. Due to discriminatory laws, America’s 5.1 million LGBT women face lower pay, frequent harassment, compromised access to health care, and heightened violence. Anti-LGBT laws, together with inequitable and outdated policies, mean that LGBT women’s economic security is compromised by reduced incomes and added costs ranging from healthcare to housing.
“Even at a time when the public is showing increased understanding and acceptance of LGBT people and their relationships, the unique concerns and struggles of LGBT women are largely absent in the national conversation,” said Laura E. Durso, Director LGBT Progress at the Center for American Progress at CAP.
Among its major findings:
- LGBT women are more likely to live in poverty. Almost 30% of bisexual women and 23% of lesbian women live in poverty compared to 21% of heterosexual women. Only 29% of LGBT women say they are thriving financially compared to 39% of non-LGBT women. Transgender women are nearly four times as likely to have year incomes of $10,000 or less compared to the general population.
- LGBT women of color, older LGBT women and LGBT women raising children are particularly vulnerable. African-American and Latina women in same-sex couples are three and two times more likely, respectively, to be poor than white women in same-sex couples.
- LGBT women struggle to find and keep good jobs. LGBT women face discrimination when looking for work and while on the job. The result is lower pay and fewer opportunities to advance. Workplaces also may be unwelcoming, hostile, or even physically unsafe. Transgender women face added challenges because they often cannot obtain accurate identity documents necessary for work.
The report is available online at www.lgbtmap.org/unfair-price-lgbt-women.