The first large scale survey of women who partner with women looks for respondents
The National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey recently launched, a community-based research and organizing effort to learn from the experiences of women who partner with other women and gather groundbreaking data. They have garnered 5,200 respondents to date.
The unique effort is led by queer, lesbian, bi, trans, nonbinary, researchers and activists.
The survey is designed to discover all we know and do not know about the life experience of LGBTQ women who partner with women. Aiming for 20,000 participants the study will be in the field until December 15, 2021.
Comprised of more than 100 questions, the project team seeks a holistic understanding of how LGBTQ women self-identify, what they experience, and what it is like to live as a LGBTQ woman in 2021. The initiative’s goal is to ensure that LGBTQ women who partner with woman are better understood across a vibrant range of genders, ages, races, and sexual and material experiences.
Justice Work, the think-tank and action lab led by former National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Urvashi Vaid, organized the survey project over the past three years. They recruited a team led by Research Director Dr. Jaime Grant. whose ground-breaking work includes the National Transgender Discrimination Study (2011). Other participants are Principal Investigator Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell Emory University and Dr. Carla Sutherland, an international and domestic researcher in social policy.
The survey also has an experienced advisory team of leading LGBTQ activists, scholars and researchers. The Survey was designed through many workshops, conversations, social media outreach and community partnerships with LGBTQ organizations say the researchers.
“Queer women’s lives are so varied and plural”
“Existing research about LGBTQ+ women excludes so many of us because it’s often centered in sexual behavior rather than identity,” said Dr. Jaime M. Grant, Research Director of the survey. “We wanted people to see the full scope of our community—all of us who did, have or do identify as women and/or have partnered with women. Hence, our study has deep, community-centered questions about identity, so that we can see people in all their nuances. We want to be able to report on what’s happening in the collective as well as point out specific vulnerabilities”
Urvashi Vaid at the Vaid Group noted: “Queer women’s lives are so varied and plural. We want to invite all women who have partnered with other women to share their experience of family, work, life, identity, gender, race, community, discrimination and resilience, and much more. Our goal is to bring forward real life experience to inform policy change, service delivery and action to support LGBTQ+ women.”
Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell, Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University, serves at the Principal Investigator and data expert on the project, which is being hosted by Emory. Dr. Sewell, whose work has focused on race and policing, notes: “We don’t want just the largest sample of LGBTQ+ women’s experiences – we need a truly representative sample. We intend to reach into LGBTQ+ women’s communities that are largely unseen or dismissed.”
The survey is distributed online, available in English and Spanish, and is for anyone who has identified as an LGBTQ woman who partners with women at any point in their lives. The survey is also available to distribute to community groups, social networks, book groups, faith communities, sports leagues, support groups, and institutions. All data gathered is completely anonymous and confidential.
It is available at lgbtqwomensurvey.org