LGBT People Of Color Are Among The Most Disadvantaged In The U.S. Workforce

Here are five take-aways from the Movement Advancement Project’s new report. posted on

LGBT individuals of color are the most disadvantaged employees in the U.S. — facing both social stigma and discrimination.

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“Systemic barriers and inequities in the educational system make it harder for LGBT people of color to meet workforce qualifications,” said Ineke Mushovic, Executive Director of the Movement Advancement Project. “LGBT workers of color are also unfairly denied or lack access to job-related benefits that other workers take for granted, making it harder for these workers to earn a living and provide for their families.”

The report, A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color, cites major barriers to individuals of color in the workplace including educational obstacles, hiring bias, and unequal pay, benefits, and taxation. The study provides the latest information concerning LGBT workers of color.

1. About one-third of individuals that identify as LGBT are people of color:

2. The geographic distribution of LGBT workers of color mirrors that of people of color as a whole.

The study claims that, “More than one-quarter of black same-sex couples live in Georgia, New York, Maryland and North Carolina […] these states are home to 26% of the broader black population in the U.S.”

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3. Large numbers of LGBT workers of color are raising children, more than white LGBT workers.

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4. LGBT workers of color are at larger significant risk of poverty.

“Black same-sex couples have poverty rates at least twice the rate of black opposite-sex married couples (18% vs. 8%).”

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5. LGBT youth of color are at high risk of becoming homeless.

An estimated 20-40% of homeless youth in the U.S. identify as LGBT or believe they may be LGBT.

The study breaks down the various barriers that make it harder for LGBT individuals of color to find and keep jobs:

Tico Almeida, President of Freedom to Work, says:


Fixing the broken bargain for LGBT workers of color will help ensure that they are treated fairly no matter where they work, that they receive the same compensation for the same work, and that they can access important benefits available to other workers to protect their health and livelihood.

View the full report here.

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