NPR looks at LGBT discrimination in America

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Rainbow STD graphic

National Public Radio has released the fifth segment of its series You, Me and Them: Experiencing Discrimination in America. Based on a survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, this multiplatform series delves into personal experiences of discrimination in America from representative samples of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, whites, men, women and LGBT adults.

The fifth segment, released Nov. 21, explores the experiences of LGBT Americans, such as 20-year-old Alex Galvan. The moment right before he told his doctor earlier this year that he is gay and sexually active felt like a nightmare, he tells NPR. Galvan lives in rural Tulare County in California’s Central Valley. He wanted to start a regimen of medication that helps prevent HIV infection, an approach called “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” or PrEP.

Galvan remembers his last thought before coming out to his doctor earlier this year: “Sitting in the waiting room was kind of like, ‘you got this, you’re just asking for a medication to help you,'” Galvan says, remembering what was going through his head before he came out to the doctor. “He’s not going to flip out. And then the moment before was, ‘Oh gosh, here it goes.'”

His doctor didn’t know about PrEP, and Galvan thought he was going to be rejected. Instead, his physician educated himself.

Several LGBT Americans tell their own story. Listen to more of the show and interview.

Here are some of the latest findings from the study done for NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for the show:

  • 57% of LGBTQ Americans have experienced slurs about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 53% of LGBTQ Americans have experienced insensitive or offensive comments about their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 57% of LGBTQ Americans say that they themselves, or an LGBTQ friend or family member, have been threatened or non-sexually harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 51% of LGBTQ Americans say they have been sexually harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 51% of LGBTQ Americans say they have experienced violence because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 34% of all LGBTQ Americans say that they themselves, or an LGBTQ friend or family member, have been verbally harassed in the bathroom or been told or asked if they were using the wrong bathroom.
  • 20% of LGBTQ Americans report being personally discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity when applying for jobs.
  • 22% of LGBTQ Americans report being personally discriminated against because of their sexuality or gender identity when being paid equally or considered for promotion.
  • 22% of LGBT Americans report being personally discriminated against when trying to rent a room or apartment or buy a house because of their sexuality or gender identity.
  • 32% of LGBTQ Americans of color say they have personally experienced discrimination because of their LGBTQ identity when applying for jobs, compared to 13% of white LGBTQ individuals.
  • 24% of LGBTQ Americans of color say they have personally experienced discrimination because they are LGBTQ when interacting with the police, compared to 11% of white LGBTQ people.
  • 26% of LGBTQ Americans say that they or a friend or family member who is LGBTQ, have been unfairly stopped or treated by the police because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 26% of LGBTQ people say that they or a friend or family member who is LGBTQ have been unfairly stopped or treated by the police because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • 18% of LGBTQ Americans say they have avoided medical care, even when in need, due to concern that they would be discriminated against because of their LGBTQ identity.
  • 15% of LGBTQ Americans say they have avoided calling the police even when in need, due to concern that they would be discriminated against because of their LGBTQ identity.

npr.org/series/559149737/you-me-and-them-experiencing-discrimination-in-america

Full report on LGBTQ Americans:

npr.org/documents/2017/nov/npr-discrimination-lgbtq-final.pdf