Filling in the Data Gaps on Black Gay and Transgender Americans
Event Identifies Holes in Information and Offers Solutions
At an event on January 19, the Center for American Progress released its groundbreaking report, “Jumping Beyond the Broom: Why Black Gay and Transgender Americans Need More Than Marriage Equality,” which draws together data to prove that severe economic, social, and health disparities continue to affect the black gay and transgender community.
According to Aisha Moodie-Mills, Advisor on LGBT Policy and Racial Justice at the Center for American Progress and the report’s author, “marriage alone is not the silver bullet” for reducing these disparities. Her report lays the groundwork for policies that specifically target the needs of this underserved population. Moodie-Mills is also the founder of a new CAP initiative, Fighting Injustice to Reach Equality, aimed at overcoming the disparities outlined in her report.
In her opening remarks Nicole Mason of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University spoke about the lack of data on this community, which impedes researchers’ and policymakers’ ability to tackle “the experiences, social conditions, and barriers to equality” black gay and transgender Americans face.
"In almost 100 percent of the cases," she stated, federal surveys do not ask questions about sexual orientation or gender identity. Without this data, Mason emphasized that researchers are unable to provide concrete recommendations to policymakers. She urged federal and state agencies to begin collecting such data.
Moodie-Mills then provided a brief summary of the findings from "Jumping Beyond the Broom." Acknowledging the lack of data Mason mentioned, the report touches on three main obstacles affecting black gay and transgender Americans: economic insecurity, low educational attainment, and health disparities.
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