Visibility Through Research and Data How Charleigh Flohr and Violet Lhant’s Work Helps People Be Seen

Charleigh Flohr (she/her) and Violet Lhant (she/her) know that research done with intent and passion can positively impact many people. As part of the Human Right Campaign Foundation’s Public Education and Research team, they are both passionate about storytelling — particularly storytelling which is driven by facts and data. They understand that the experiences of LGBTQ+ people can be as diverse and unique as the community itself. In order to delve deeper into experiences and share them with the community at large, Flohr and Lhant conduct profound research to accurately depict the day-to-day lives of LGBTQ+ people.

The work that Flohr (she/her) and Lhant (she/her) do helps to bring to light the myriad realities of the LGBTQ+ community through an array of reports, studies, surveys, resources and other work, all of which is strategically created to help build solutions. Through their work, both Flohr and Lhant not only address the pressing issues and situations that impact LGBTQ+ people, but provide an overview of what can be done to positively change the lives of people from the community as well.

From producing reports on the impact of the pandemic on LGBTQ+ people and addressing wage disparities amongst LGBTQ+ employees to creating helpful digital resources for transgender and non-binary youth, Flohr and Lhant strive every day to provide a true picture of how LGBTQ+ people live and how different aspects of their lives are impacted, both negatively and positively. Furthermore, their work helps different members of our community be seen, especially those who are multiply marginalized.

“I've always told people that while I love the mission and issue areas we focus on at HRC, my true passion is for research and statistics,” said Flohr, senior research manager. “It's important to me because I get to do work that touches on two critical and intersecting professional and personal identities. I'm a trans woman and a researcher, and at HRC I get to produce research on my community that changes the hearts and minds of people everyday.”

Violet Lhant

“Professionally, I love my job,” said Lhant, writer and content manager. “I get to write about queer topics for a living and that’s something I’m really passionate about. I also think it’s important work, and that’s another aspect of fulfillment. At HRC, we always say we’re about changing hearts and minds. We have a huge platform, so what we say as an organization carries weight.”


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As transgender women, Flohr and Lhant know just how important it is to accurately depict and expand on the intersectionalities that highlight people’s commonalities as opposed to their differences.

“A lot of the work we do is also intersectional with things like disability rights and racial justice,” said Lhant. “As a trans person and as a writer, I want to make sure what’s written about us is accurate. There’s so much misinformation and a lot of people speaking over those with lived experiences. Of course, there are groups that I’m not a part of, and we want to make sure that they’re represented too. That’s why our work is collaborative with other departments, so people can bring their own backgrounds and experiences and create the best possible products.”

Flohr and Lhant both feel that research and statistics help to humanize and contextualize many narratives about LGBTQ+ people. “Statistics make general sense of individual complexities. It brings individuals together into a community,” said Flohr.

“It’s almost a cliché, but visibility really is important. I want people to be seen, especially parts of the LGBTQ+ community that have been historically underrepresented,” said Lhant. “There are also a lot of things that people might feel, but do not know how to express. As a writer, it’s my job to figure out how to channel those feelings — about identity, politics, society — into something that’s more solid. I want to give people the words to describe themselves and their situations. I want them to be able to understand topics and think about them critically. If I can do that, that’s how I know I’ve succeeded at my job.”

As transgender women, for both Flohr and Lhant, their personal experiences have helped them understand how valuable their work is. They know firsthand how beneficial having resources which speak to your experience can be and how necessary having accessible information is.

Charleigh Flohr

“This work is deeply personal to me as a trans woman because I was that teenager in school who needed HRC,” said Flohr. “And I know that all the young trans kids who are using our resources today have something that fundamentally can change their lives and provide them a bit of comfort or stability that so many of us don't have today or didn't have.”

What Flohr and Lhant hope their work accomplishes at the end of the day is unity, for people to see themselves and others reflected in the products they put out.

“I hope that every stat, report and resource our team puts out helps the public to understand that we have more commonality than differences,” said Flohr. “We are all unique in identity, yet we each get up every day and complain about allergies, try to pay rent, have our favorite food, and want to be understood. I work hard every day to push back against problematic ways research excludes or characterizes LGBTQ+ people.”