Sexual orientation cited as reason for discrimination

The largest survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) adults ever conducted in Northeast Florida finds that three-quarters of LGBTI respondents have experienced “everyday discrimination,” such as being disrespected, threatened or harassed in the past 12 months. Respondents who reported everyday discrimination were most likely to indicate that these experiences were due to their sexual orientation or sex.

A large majority of LGBTI survey respondents were currently employed. However, many respondents also reported lifetime experiences of major discrimination in the workplace, including being unfairly fired from a job, passed over for a job for which they were qualified or denied a job promotion. Respondents most frequently cited their sexual orientation as the reason for the discrimination.

Data from the study also showed that most sexual minority respondents, including those who self-identify as LGB and so forth and those who reported same-gender partners, reported being out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer to someone in their lives, and large majorities said they were out to all of their LGBTI friends, immediate family members and current healthcare providers. A substantial majority of those who were out reported acceptance from all, most or some of the people who knew they were a sexual minority.

Researchers at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, with funding from The LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida and in partnership with a local Community Advisory Board, conducted The Jacksonville-Area Community Assessment to learn about the composition, experiences and health of adults in Northeast Florida’s LGBTI community. Community members were involved at every stage of this project, from conceptualization through interpretation of results and the generation of recommendations, and were integral to its success.

Michael Meyers, president of The LGBT Community Fund, said “The results of the survey show that we in Jacksonville have significant work to do to achieve full inclusion of LGBTI people into our community, while also showing the value, for many parts of the community, of coming out to move acceptance forward. The LGBT Community Fund will use the survey results to inform our work going forward, and we hope the results will be a basis for broad discussion about issues affecting the LGBTI community.”

The full report can be found here.

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