Thursday, August 17, 2023

NEW DATA: Nearly 8-in-10 LGBTQ+ Americans Report Increased Fears for Personal Safety

Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released new analyses of data of proprietary questions from Community Marketing Insight’s (CMI) 17th Annual LGBTQ+ Community Survey, co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and others. The analysis, which reveals the virtually universal impact gender-affirming care bans are having on LGBTQ+ adults, comes just two months after HRC officially declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people for the first time ever. Nearly 8-in-10 LGBTQ+ adults report feeling less safe as a result of gender-affirming care bans, and nearly half report that gender-affirming care bans impact the physical and/or mental health of themselves or their loved ones.   

The survey follows an unprecedented spike in anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation, with more than 550 bills introduced in 43 states, and more than 80 signed into law — more than doubling last year which was previously the worst year on record. The wave of harmful and discriminatory legislation and concurrent spike in anti-transgender rhetoric and violence prompted HRC to declare a state of emergency in June.   

“Just two months after HRC declared a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ people, this survey reveals that the current climate of hostility and fear is only growing worse, and that gender-affirming care bans are taking a detrimental toll on the physical and mental health of LGBTQ+ Americans,” said Kelley Robinson, President of  the Human Rights Campaign. “Extremist, anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and their allies are waging a dangerous and cruel misinformation campaign that seeks to stigmatize not only gender-affirming care but transgender and non-binary people as well. Through fear mongering and propaganda, extremist leaders are working overtime to manufacture panic, rile up their base, and coax them into opposing healthcare for transgender people, even though it’s endorsed by every major medical organization. The rhetoric and misinformation is having a virtually universal impact on LGBTQ+ people, and further plunging us into a state of emergency that’s threatening the health and safety of every LGBTQ+ person.” 

Significant findings from the 17th Annual Community Survey include: 

  • 43% of LGBTQ+ adults report that gender-affirming care bans impact the physical and/or mental health of themselves or their loved ones.
    • 80.1%  transgender and non-binary adults report the same.   
  • 79.1% LGBTQ+ adults report that gender-affirming care bans make them feel less safe as an LGBTQ+ person. 
    • For transgender and non-binary adults, this number increases to more than 9 in 10 (94%).  

Currently, there are 21 states across the U.S  that have enacted laws banning gender affirming care. Collectively, these states are home to nearly 97,000 transgender youth age 13-17–meaning that a third of all transgender youth in the United States currently live in states where they have lost access to gender-affirming care, or had their access severely limited (note that several of these bans have been temporarily enjoined by federal courts and are not currently in effect)Results from the 17th Annual LGBTQ+ Community Survey, fielded April-June 2023 by Community Marketing Insights (CMI), and co-sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and others, reveal that the vast majority of LGBTQ+ adults view these bills as harmful to their health, safety, and well-being, as well as that of the larger LGBTQ+ community. Many are also choosing where to live, work, travel, and spend money based on the presence or absence of these laws.  

The impact of these bills extends beyond direct threats to health and well-being. Nationwide, nearly two-thirds (62.2%)  of LGBTQ+ adults said that they would not consider moving to a state with a gender-affirming care ban, and one-third (34%) of LGBTQ+ people, including more than half (53%) of transgender and non-binary people, said that if their current state enacted a ban on gender-affirming care, they would consider moving to a different state – or, that they had already moved or started steps to move out-of-state as a result of their state’s gender affirming care ban.  

"The results of this survey make clear that we Floridians will be repairing that damage of anti-LGBTQ laws passed in this state for years to come,” said Nadine Smith, Executive Director of Equality Florida. “Conferences are canceling, talent is fleeing and the best and brightest are abandoning our universities, while LGBTQ+ people are feeling more unsafe than ever before. These attacks have to stop.”