New Democracy Maps

LGBTQ People of Color

People of color in the United States are more likely to identify as LGBTQ than are white people. It is estimated that one-third of LGBTQ people nationally are people of color. LGBTQ people of color have unique experiences both as LGBTQ people and as people of color. Research finds that they are more likely to experience workplace discrimination, housing discrimination, and violence compared to both their non-LGBTQ peers and their white LGBTQ peers.  
This page houses resources dedicated to addressing the unique experiences of LGBTQ people of color including reports about the criminal justice system, economic security, workplace issues, and more. 

Related Resources


LGBTQ Policy Spotlight: Bans on Medical Care for Transgender People

April 2023 - In this detailed analysis of more than 250 recent bills, MAP illustrates the extent of how bills targeting medically necessary care for transgender people are expanding and becoming more extreme.


The ID Divide: How Barriers to ID Impact Different Communities and Affect Everyone

November 2022 - This report illustrates clear, achievable ID policies that promote public safety and good governance while still ensuring that people can have their basic needs met and have an equal opportunity to participate in civic and everyday life.


Policy Spotlight: Curriculum Censorship & Hostile School Climate Bills

March 2022 - This report examines the wave of state legislation that censor discussions of race, ethnicity, religion, and LGBTQ people in schools and that create a hostile climate for students.


The Delta Variant & the Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Households in the U.S.

December 2021 - This report presents 2021 analysis of a nationally representative survey that finds LGBTQ people continue to be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the Delta variant.


Why We All Need the Equality Act Now

January 2021 - This report outlines the ways in which the Equality Act is vital legislation not just for LGBTQ people, but also for women, people of color, and immigrants.


The Disproportionate Impacts of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Households in the U.S.

December 2020 - This report presents new analysis of a nationally representative survey that finds LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


Week #1: 10 Ways President Biden Can Support LGBTQ People

November 2020 - This brief highlights 10 actions the Biden administration can immediately start to ensure LGBTQ people and their families can be protected from discrimination.


Who Could Be Legally Fired If the Supreme Court Gives Employers a Right to Discriminate?

October 2019 - This infographic shows the percentage of people by race living in states without protections who would lose federal workplace protections if the Supreme Court rules that Title VII doesn’t protect LGBT workers.


Where We Call Home: LGBT People of Color in Rural America (Full Report)

September 2019 - This report examines the unique challenges of LGBT people of color in rural America and highlights distinct experiences across different communities of color.


LGBT Policy Spotlight: LGBT Equality in the U.S. Territories

June 2019 - The United States' long history of territorial expansion has resulted in a truly complicated system of governance for territory residents, where even the U.S. Constitution doesn’t always apply. Examining each of the five territories across the more than 38 laws and policies tracked by MAP offers just one metric of LGBT people’s experiences in these territories.

New Brief

LGBT People in the Workplace

August 2018 - This new brief details the history, demographics and experiences of LGBT people in the workplace. In addition to outlining the barriers facing LGBT workers because of prejudice, the brief also examines the added challenges facing workers—lower wages, lack of comprehensive immigration reform, barriers to employment for individuals with a criminal record, a changing economic landscape—and how these challenges also impact LGBT employees.

Policy Brief

50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case

March 2018 - Learn more about the Piggie Park decision and how creating a constitutional license to discriminate in Masterpiece could undermine that historic ruling. “50 Years Ago vs. Today: Piggie Park & The High Stakes of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Case”


Will We Go Back?

March 2018 - To mark the 50th anniversary of the Piggie Park decision, the Open to All campaign, MAP, and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights released an ad, “Will We Go Back?,” that looks at how the Masterpiececase before the Supreme Court threatens this historic Civil Rights Ruling ruling.


LGBTQ Youth in the Child Welfare System

February 2018 - This infographic outlines the overrepresentation of LGBTQ youth in the child welfare system and the criminal justice system, and their experiences while involved with these systems.


Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System

June 2017 - LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in juvenile detention and correctional facilities. They face bias in adjudication, and mistreatment and abuse in confinement facilities. LGBTQ youth also lack supportive services when leaving the criminal and juvenile justice systems, often forcing them back into negative interactions with law enforcement. This report highlights their experiences and the need to reform the juvenile justice system.


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

Noviembre 2013 - Los trabajadores de color lesbianas, homosexuales, bisexuales y transgénero (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT) se encuentran entre los trabajadores de Estados Unidos que tienen mayores desventajas. Debido a la discriminación y junto con la falta de protecciones en el lugar de trabajo, las inequidades en los beneficios laborales y la carga impositiva y escuelas con bajos recursos de EE. UU., las personas de color LGBT enfrentan tasas extraordinariamente elevadas de desempleo y pobreza.


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.

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