LGBT People of Color

Race, color, and national origin intersect with sexual orientation and gender identity to create unique experiences of discrimination and also of community for LGBT people of color. More than one in three people in the United States identifies as a person of color–over 113 million people. A survey of adults conducted by Gallup found that 33% of adults who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender are people of color, and people of color are more likely than white people to identify as LGBT.

This page houses resources dedicated to addressing the unique experiences of LGBT people of color including reports about the criminal justice system, economic security, workplace issues, and more.

Related Resources


Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color

August 2016 - Unjust: How the Broken Criminal Justice System Fails LGBT People of Color examines how racism and anti-LGBT discrimination combine to make LGBT people of color uniquely vulnerable to entering the criminal justice system and also facing unfair and abusive treatment once they are in it.


Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT People of Color

April 2015 - Systemic failures to protect some students, recognize diverse families, and protect against discrimination create a devastating cycle of poverty for America’s 3 million LGBT people of color. Learn about the economic insecurity faced by LGBT people of color.


A Broken Bargain for LGBT Workers of Color

November 2013 - LGBT workers of color face unique challenges, including educational barriers; hiring bias and on-the-job discrimination; unequal pay, benefits, and taxation--and extraordinarily high rates of unemployment and poverty as a result. Learn about actions that can help fix this broken bargain for LGBT workers of color.


Una promesa rota para los trabajadores de color LGBT

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Conversaciones sobre el suicidio y las poblaciones LGBT

Noviembre 2013 - El debate público y prudente sobre el suicidio juega un papel muy importante en generar una mayor aceptación de personas LGBT, contribuir a su bienestar y minimizar el riesgo de que se produzca el fenómeno denominado contagio suicida.


LGBT Families of Color: Facts at a Glance

January 2012 - Outdated laws that ignore contemporary families have a disproportionately negative impact on children of color. This brief looks at LGBT families of color and how they can be devastated by intersections of laws, stigma and race-based discrimination.


Talking About LGBT Equality with African Americans

October 2011 - An overwhelming majority of African Americans strongly agree that LGBT people experience discrimination. Likewise, they strongly support efforts to secure equal rights for LGBT Americans. However, research also shows that using the term civil rights to describe LGBT equality hinders our conversations with many African Americans.


Talking About LGBT Equality with Latinos & Hispanics

September 2011 - Latinos tend to be strong supporters of fairness and equality for LGBT people, and conversations that focus on shared values of family, respect, faith and opposition to discrimination can build even greater acceptance.


Conversando con latinos sobre temas y personas gays

Septiembre 2011 - La mayoría de los latinos apoyan firmemente la idea de que personas LGBT deben recibir un trato justo e igualitario. Por eso, las conversaciones que se enfocan en los valores fundamentales, como la familia, el respeto, la fe y el rechazo a la discriminación, sirven como punto de partida para generar una mayor aceptación.


Primer: Issues of Racial Justice and Inclusion

May 2007 - As the LGBT movement seeks to broaden the base of support for LGBT equality, organizations and funders need to pay closer attention to racial justice and inclusion. This 2007 primer provides a starting point and offers suggestions for making racial justice and inclusion a key focus of the LGBT movement’s work.

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.