Sunday, October 21, 2007

African-Americans and Latinos are more comfortable expressing their gay identity than whites

Over the years I have told anyone who would listen that the perception of the Latino gay community as being less willing to identify as gay or be comfortable with their sexuality - at least in the larger urban areas of the United States - did not match my perception of the community. This often seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Now, a new national demographic study released by the marketing groups New American Dimensions and Asterix Group seems to confirm some of my observations.

Among their findings:

"African-Americans and Latinos were more comfortable expressing their gay identity than whites, although their gay identity was not the most important part of who they are. And, while whites were more likely to be in live-together relationships than Latinos or blacks, they were less likely to include children in their family plans."

Today's San Jose Mercury News has a story on the findings and the Asterix Group has a downloadable condensed research report.

That version of the report also reveals that while "two thirds of gays and lesbians report experiencing stereotyping and discrimination," the feeling is more prevalent among whites than blacks and Latinos. A possible reason, the report notes, is that whites are "less likely to have been the subject of discrimination based on ethnicity."

Of all the groups that were studied, Hispanics ranked the highest in "recognizing and accepting the influence of gay identity" and also ranked as the ethnic group that was the "most comfortable about their gay identity."

They also were the most likely to prefer hanging out at "completely gay parties and bars" and were the group least likely to say that they felt discriminated for being gay.


Bloggernista said...

I think there is a kind of arrogance among white gays that white people are some how more enlightened on LGBT issues than people of color. That's not the case.

There is definitely a lot of work that needs to be done in communities of all colors to combat anti-gay stigma and increase understanding and respect for LGBT people.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Still, I believe the more common perception is not so much about gay self-identity but instead homophobia within communities of color, that African-Americans and Latinos are less accepting of homosexuality in general and specifically the gays within their own communities. I've always wanted to see some data on that aspect.

That said, I'm always a little suspect of this kind of market research, as it's driven by people who want to turn the data around to advertisers.

A special shout out to all the super gays and party people up in here.