“We Never Give Up the Fight”: Los Angeles LGBT Center Releases the Executive Summary of the National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey
LGBTQ+ women are experiencing extremely high rates of disability and intimate partner violence; at higher rates those faced by women in the general population
LOS ANGELES, June 26— Today, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, in partnership with Justice Work and 120 partner organizations, released the executive summary of initial findings from the largest and most comprehensive survey on LGBTQ+ women who partner with women in the United States. Titled “We Never Give Up the Fight”: A Report of the National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey,” the study aims to celebrate the expansiveness of its community, and use its findings to strengthen our movements, shift policy agendas, and increase funding streams where needed. The executive summary of the report can be viewed here.
The Survey Project was launched by the late activist Urvashi Vaid, a champion of LGBTQ+ rights whose work shaped the advances of AIDS advocacy and prison reform for over four decades. Vaid’s long-time collaborator, Dr. Jaime M. Grant completed the report in partnership with the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The report analyzes the responses of 5,002 LGBTQ+ women who answered nearly 170 questions in a national community survey fielded from June 2021–June 2022. While more than 8,000 respondents engaged with the survey, 5,002 women answered all of the questions posed.
As articulated by Dr. Jaime M. Grant, the report’s key findings include:
- 47% of respondents had experienced intimate partner violence—emotional, physical, or sexual. By contrast, 1-in-3 women in the general population experience IPV;
- Only 20% sought institutional support for experiencing emotional or physical violence;
- More than 1-in-3 reported family members drawing on childhood faith traditions or adopted religious doctrine to justify verbal or emotional abuse against them;
- Respondents are having sex more often (84%) than people in the general population (74%)
- 45%, almost 1 in 2 participants, reported that their sexual life gives them a great deal or a lot of joy and pleasure.
“Today, we stand on Vaid’s shoulders and continue her work, pushing forward in the fight for queer liberation and equality. This report couldn’t come at a better time for all of us fighting back against the systematic dismantling of reproductive rights and gender affirming care. LGBTQ+ women are bearing the brunt of this sexist and anti-LGBTQ backlash,” said Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“While institutions are failing LGBTQ+ women who partner with women, the study finds that friends and chosen family are the first and last lines of defense against a hostile world. When asked to name their three favorite things about being an LGBTQ+ woman, thousands of respondents cited the freedom to determine their own paths and to live in community with LGBTQ+ women,” said Dr. Grant.
The report includes findings on several key topics covered by the study, including gender and sexuality across the lifespan, education, disability, experiences of intimate partner violence, religious upbringing and religious life, sexual practices and joy, and policy priorities. The full report is expected to be available in July 2023, meanwhile a second report of findings will follow in September, which covers family, children and parenting, and health access and outcomes.
Carla Sutherland, Executive Director of Justice Work, said “The depth, breadth, and quality of the data from this groundbreaking project comes from the generosity of thousands of LGBTQ+ women who shared the realities, challenges, and joys of their intersectional lives. Our hope is that making this data widely accessible will strengthen the fight for gender justice, and help defeat our opponents who use myths, misperceptions and outright lies to drive hate-filled rhetoric and policy agendas against us.”
To register for the virtual report briefing on Monday at 11AM PST, please visit: lalgbtcenter.org/womsurvey
Data for the Report was provided by Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell and the Critical Racism Data Lab at Emory University.
About the Los Angeles LGBT Center
Since 1969 the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond. Today the Center’s nearly 800 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education, Leadership and Advocacy. We are an unstoppable force in the fight against bigotry and the struggle to build a better world; a world in which LGBT people thrive as healthy, equal, and complete members of society. Learn more at lalgbtcenter.org.