New studies show discrimination widely reported by women, people of color and LGBTQ adults

U.S. public opinion is divided over who faces discrimination. fizkes/Shutterstock.com Mary G. Findling, Harvard University; John M. Benson, Harvard University, and Robert J. Blendon, Harvard University In recent years, U.S. public opinion has been divided about the existence and seriousness of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Amid growing racial divides in civil and political views, our research team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in partnership with NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, asked 3,453 adults about their experiences of discrimination. We surveyed adults who identified as members of six groups often underrepresented in public opinion research: blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, women and LGBTQ adults. Our studies, published in December, show that people from these groups report high levels of discrimination from both institutions and other people. Widespread reported discrimination The articles were ba…
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Home for the holidays? LGB youth report lower parental support than heterosexual youth

LGTBQ Asian Community marches with QUEER ASIAN YOUTH banner at the 2017 Toronto Pride Parade. Shawn Goldberg/Shutterstock Hilary Rose, CFLE, Concordia University During the holidays, most people — including young people — spend more time at home and with their families. But home and family can feel different based on varying levels of support from one’s family. Our research found LGB (lesbian, gay and bisexual) youth’s perceptions of family support remained the same or, in fact, worsened from 1998 to 2013. Our study’s trend analyses show that, generally, youth’s perceived parental support and family relations have improved steadily since 1998. As hopeful as that might be, the LGB youth in our study — average age 14¾ years — don’t see their parents and families as being as supportive as their heterosexual peers do, or indeed as they used to. It’s a striking difference when you consider that attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people have generally improved over time. Missing Support and …
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10-year Challenge reveals femmephobia in gay communities

Participants at the Montréal Pride Celebrations a decade ago. Researchers say there is an overemphasis on muscular and ‘masculine’ bodies in gay communities. Shutterstock Adam Davies, University of Guelph and Rhea Ashley Hoskin, Queen's University, Ontario This year, the 10-Year Challenge appeared as a social media fad on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For the challenge (also called the 2009 vs. 2019 Challenge), people post two side-by-side photos of themselves to show how much they’ve changed: one photo is current and the other from 10 years ago. The opportunity to self-reflect on a decade’s worth of changes can be a wonderful opportunity to assess one’s development. This may be especially true for queer and trans people who may have significant changes to share as they become more open about their identity.   But for others, the posts may feel less celebratory. They may even feel self-denigrating. Many gay men describe their 2009 picture as “gross,” “unattractive” …
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How many Australians are not heterosexual? It depends on who, what and when you ask

Who identifies as non-heterosexual varies on who, what and when you ask. AAP/Joel Carrett Francisco Perales, The University of Queensland and Alice Campbell, The University of Queensland Almost two years after the heated discussions accompanying the 2017 marriage equality postal survey, LGB Australians remain at the centre of public debates. For example, there are ongoing issues around religious freedoms, and homosexuality was at the centre of Israel Folau’s controversial statements. But one aspect about the Australian LGB populations that is often ignored is who, and how many, belong to them. In fact, there is a large degree of uncertainty internationally about the share of the non-heterosexual population. The accuracy of early US studies by Alfred Kinsey has been largely discredited. More recent work by demographer Gary Gates provided more robust information, but left many questions unanswered.   Read more: Marriage equality was momentous, but there is still muc…
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Big city gaybourhoods: where they come from and why they still matter

Scott McKinnon, University of Wollongong This is the third article in our series, Cities for Everyone, which explores how members of different communities experience and shape our cities, and how we can create better public spaces for everyone. In London, there is Soho; in New York, Chelsea and Greenwich Village; and in San Francisco, there is the Castro. In Sydney, there is Darlinghurst and, more specifically, Oxford Street. These are neighbourhoods of large cities that have, since at least the 1950s and often earlier, developed a reputation as queer spaces. In more recent years, those reputations have begun to fade and the enduring meanings of the “gaybourhood” have come into question. But what each of these places represents is the centrality of urban space to the emergence of visible, “out and proud” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities and communities.   Read more: Friday essay: on the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978 Queer Sydney in …
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