In a new report by UCLA Williams Institute, an estimated 1.4 million of Latino adults living in America are identifying themselves as Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, or Transgender. The study was conducted to provide a socioeconomic analysis of the LGBT Latino population and couples to understand the community’s situation amongst the populace.
The reports notes that 4.3% of those in the LGBT population is higher considering that the nationwide self-identifying LGBT population rate is only 3.5% meaning more Latinos are feeling much more comfortable with their sexual identity.
Based on census data collected from forms and polls, the survey shows that in Texas, Nevada, and California there are higher concentrations of LGBT Latinos. However, the same states that have higher numbers of LGBT Latinos also have fewer legal protection rights for the community.
“While sometimes less visible in popular representations of LGBT people and families, Latinos make up a sizable portion of the LGBT population, and they tend to live in Latino, as opposed to LGBT, communities,” said Gary J. Gates, a Williams Institute Scholar and co-author of the study.
While the study acknowledges there is a growing confidence in Latinos feeling free to come out and identify who they are there are some issues that need to be dressed.
In the study, LGBT Latinos are discovered to have a higher rate of unemployment standing at 14% in comparison to Heterosexual Latinos who stand at 11%. These findings are quite interesting considering more LGBT Latinos have college degrees standing at 26% while Heterosexual Latinos with college degrees are an estimated 14%. Despite these findings, LGBT Latinos earn a higher median income compared to their counterparts.
While some may debate that “Latino” and “LGBT” are too broad of terms to be truly analyzed, the study does shine a light on people who have been condemned or silenced. Being Latino and someone of sexual orientation can be viewed as a “double whammy” because you may face tensions on a racial and sexual level. This study helps to not show the growth of one group over another, but shows how we are all the same: members of the American society.