Press

The Task Force Releases ‘Lesbians Are Women Too,’ New Fact Sheets on Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Women of Color

Date: 
March 16, 2005

For Women's History Month, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Releases "Lesbians Are Women Too," New Fact Sheets on Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Women of Color

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

The fact sheets are available online at: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/WHM031605.pdf.

"As women and as lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, we need to break down the barriers that render our lives invisible, and we need to be recognized and understood. The information about women in these fact sheets is a testament to the routine struggle for equality that is our daily lives."
—Rea Carey, Deputy Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"American families come in all shapes and colors. If we want to celebrate every aspect of Women's History Month, we must recognize lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. After all, lesbians are women, too, and as this set of fact sheets shows, lesbians are an active and integral part of every community in this country."
—Mandy Carter, Executive Director of Southerners on New Ground

"We already know that women suffer disproportionately from discrimination. This information from the Census also confirms that Hispanic/Latina lesbian, bisexual and transgender women suffer from additional discrimination because they are both Hispanic and gay,"
—Heddy Peña, Executive Director, SAVE Dade

"These fact sheets pave the way for desperately needed future research and changes in policies affecting Asian Pacific American lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, who often feel invisible or disconnected from both their cultural and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. Our sexual orientations are as diverse as our stories, our families, our languages, and our places of origin,"
—Mandy Hu, co-author of Asian Pacific American study

NEW YORK, March 15 — Black and Hispanic/Latino female same-sex households are as likely to raise foster or adopted children, but earn considerably less when compared to married, opposite-sex Black and Hispanic/Latino households, according to "Lesbians Are Women Too," a set of fact sheets observing Women's History Month released today by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute.

The fact sheet series addresses the experiences and lives of Black, Hispanic/Latina, and Asian Pacific American lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women. Data is taken from three reports published by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute during the last year: Black Same-Sex Households in the United States: A Report from the 2000 Census, Hispanic and Latino Same-Sex Households in Florida: A Report from the 2000 Census, and Asian Pacific American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People: A Community Portrait. Additional data is provided by Lopez and Cheung, Inc.

The Black and Hispanic/Latina fact sheets are based on the reports' analysis of data from the 2000 U.S. Census, the largest random dataset available on same-sex couples, and include information on parenting, income, residency patterns, home ownership, military service, public sector employment, immigration, and language. The Asian Pacific American women's fact sheet is based on a survey of attendees at New York's Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference (2004), revealing their perceptions and experiences in both APA and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.

Several key findings from the fact sheets are:

  • Black female same-sex households are raising children at rates comparable with black married opposite-sex households (61% vs. 69%).

  • Black women with same-sex partners serve in the military at eleven times the rate of women in general (11% vs. 1%).

  • Hispanic/Latina female same-sex households are raising foster or adopted children at rates almost equal to Hispanic/Latino opposite-sex married households (3% vs. 4%).

  • Hispanic/Latina female same-sex households earn an annual median income that is 11% less than Hispanic/Latina married opposite-sex households ($40,000 vs. $44,420).

  • Asian Pacific American lesbian, bisexual and transgender women rank hate violence/harassment (52%), immigration (38%), and marriage/domestic partnership (30%) as the most important issues facing the Asian Pacific American LGBT community.

  • Three-quarters of Asian Pacific American lesbian, bisexual and transgender women surveyed believe racism exists within the white LGBT community (76%). And, almost all Asian Pacific American women surveyed believe that homophobia and/or transphobia is a problem within the Asian Pacific American community (94%).

"These fact sheets profile women who are consistently overlooked by other research, and are a significant contribution to the shamefully small body of research on these vital segments of our broader lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," said Ms. Carey. "Nonetheless, these data only begin to scratch the surface. Further research is critical to understand fully the issues facing lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, with particular emphasis on women of color. With a greater body of research, data, and stories revealing the lives of LBT women generally, and LBT women of color specifically, we will all be able to better advocate for policy changes that break down the barriers to full participation in society."


Resources:

The fact sheets are available online at: http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/WHM031605.pdf.

For more comprehensive information on Asian Pacific American lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, see Dang, A., & Hu, M. (2005). Asian Pacific American lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people: A community portrait. A report from New Yorks Queer Asian Pacific Legacy Conference, 2004. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Available online at http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/APAstudy.pdf.

For more comprehensive information on black female same-sex households, see Dang, A., & Frazer, S. (2004). Black same-sex households in the United States: A report from the 2000 Census. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition. Available online at http://www.thetaskforce.org/ourprojects/pi/blackcensus.cfm.

For more comprehensive information on Latina female same-sex households in Florida, see Cianciotto, J. & Lopez, L. (2005). Hispanic and Latino same-sex households in Florida: A report from the 2000 Census. New York: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute. Available online at http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/LatinoSSHHinFlorida3-03-05.pdf.


Founded in 1973, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation (the Task Force) was the first national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights and advocacy organization and remains the movement's leading voice for freedom, justice, and equality. We work to build the grassroots political strength of our community by training state and local activists and leaders, working to strengthen the infrastructure of state and local allies, and organizing broad-based campaigns to build public support for complete equality for LGBT people. Our Policy Institute, the community's premiere think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a world that respects and makes visible the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully participate in society. Headquartered in Washington, DC, we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Cambridge, and Miami. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, DC. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Copyright © 2005 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.