Human Rights Campaign Report Releases New Data on Experiences of Black Queer Youth

by Jarred Keller

While more than 90% of Black queer youth surveyed are out to their friends, a large majority continues to experience discrimination within their communities

WASHINGTON – Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released a report in partnership with the University of Connecticut featuring data collected from nearly 1,200 Black LGBTQ+ youth (ages 13-17) from across the country. The report presents extensive data and guidelines that can be used by parents, caregivers, school administrators, educators, counselors and other youth-serving professionals to better understand and support Black LGBTQ+ youth.

Despite some of the solemn statistics presented throughout the report, Black LGBTQ+ youth are finding the confidence to own their space by opening up to loved ones about their sexuality—most notably with their friends—with 96.9% out to their LGBTQ+ friends and 91.8% were out to their non-LGBTQ+ friends. Additionally, over half of Black LGBTQ+ youth and Black Transgender/Gender-expansive youth are out to their teachers and other school staff, exemplifying the growth needed to ensure Black queer youth know they are valued.

“This report highlights the nuance of what it means to be Black and queer in America,” said Charleigh Flohr, Associate Director of Public Education & Research at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “There’s been a noticeable increase in Black openly LGBTQ+ youth, and more work is needed to ensure they are seen and affirmed. Our hope is this report will provide insight on how allies can provide a safe and affirming space for Black LGBTQ+ youth to live in their truth.”

Key findings from the 2024 Black LGBTQ+ Youth Report include:

Racism, Homophobia and Transphobia

  • 80.9% of Black LGBTQ+ youth and 83.5% of Black transgender/gender-expansive youth say they have experienced homophobia or transphobia in the Black community
  • 74.8% of Black LGBTQ+ youth and 78.2% of Black transgender and gender-expansive youth have experienced racism in the LGBTQ+ community

Religion, Faith and Spirituality

  • 63.1% of those raised in a religion said their religion is unfriendly to LGBTQ+ people
  • 54.5% said their religious beliefs triggered feelings of guilt and shame when they came out as an LGBTQ+ person

Mental Health

  • 53.3% of Black LGBTQ+ youth screened positive for depression
  • 46.5% of Black LGBTQ+ youth wanted therapy but could not receive it

Black LGBTQ+ Youth Futures

  • 33.7% of Black LGBTQ+ youth want to attend an HBCU because they believe they will be more supported at an HBCU
  • Only 54.4% of Black LGBTQ+ youth feel like they will be able to be their authentic self when applying for jobs in the future.

To read the full 2024 Black LGBTQ+ Youth Survey Report, click here.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.


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