Happy Pride Month!
Have you seen an unusual amount of rainbows on your Facebook feed lately? It’s because June is Pride Month! During Pride Month, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, among many others, celebrate their sexuality and communities.
Of the population in the United States:
- 1.6% identity as gay or lesbian
- 1.7% identify as bisexual
- 1.3% identity as transgender
- 4.1% identify as LGBT+
This means that over 10 million Americans identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or anywhere else on the LGBT+ spectrum, which includes everything from asexuality to pansexuality. While larger amounts of people are starting to identify as LGBT+, these groups still face everyday hardships in their communities and society.
- Marriage inequality
- A lack of visitation rights for same-sex partners in hospitals
- Inadequate medical care
- Denial of medical care and medications, like hormone blockers, for transgender people in prisons
- A disproportionate risk of HIV/AIDS, particularly among black and Hispanic gay men
One of the biggest issues that LGBT+ groups face, however, is violence and discrimination.
Danger in the Workplace
In the workplace, LGBT+ people may face harassment or discrimination because of their sexuality or gender. For LGBT+ people, workplace issues may include:
- Physical, verbal, or emotional harassment
- Threats of violence or actual attempts at violence
- Inappropriate or illegal questions during job interviews
- Unfair firing
Violence and Harassment
For younger LGBT+ people, this kind of harassment often takes the form of bullying at school. 82% of LGBT+ students say they have experienced bullying at school because of their sexual orientation, with 64% reporting that they feel unsafe at school. 61% of students do not report the bullying to their school, and of those that do, 31% reported that their schools did not make any effort to address the problem. Due to bullying and harassment, LGBT+ teens are twice as likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers. 25% of transgender teens say they have attempted suicide.
LGBT+ groups are also at risk of targeted violence. 15.61% of LGBT+ people reported physical violence in a 2015 survey, while 11.81% experienced threats or intimidation. Transgender people, particularly transgender people of color, face the most violence. They were 1.6% more likely to experience physical violence than any other LGBT+ group. Many attacks on LGBT+ people are instigated by strangers, and are motivated purely by a dislike of certain sexualities or groups.
Pride Month is a time for members of the LGBT+ communities to embrace their sexuality, and the month is filled with parades and parties. But for many people, Pride Month is also a time for activism and awareness, as LGBT+ groups and their allies strive to put an end to violence, suicide, and harassment within their own communities.
Happy Pride Month!
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