February 25, 2005
Written by C.N.
As reported by Asian American Village, a new study conducted by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, entitled “Asian Pacific American Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People: a Community Portrait,” notes that the overwhelming majority of Asian American LGBT have experienced multiple forms discrimination. Some of the key findings are:
- Nearly every respondent (95%) had experienced at least one form of discrimination and/or harassment in their lives. For example, 82% said that they had experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and 82% had experienced discrimination based on their race or ethnicity.
- The three most important issues facing APA LGBT community members were immigration, hate violence/harassment, and media representation.
- Nearly all respondents (96%) agreed that homophobia and/or transphobia is a problem within the APA community. And, over 80% agreed that APA LGBT people experience racism within the predominantly white LGBT community.
- The majority of respondents felt that LGBT organizations inadequately address issues of race (58%), class (80%), and disability (79%).
Also, 59% of the Asian American LGBT in the survey agreed or strongly agreed that Asian Americans experience racism within the White LGBT community. Further, 85% of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that homophobia is a problem in the Asian American community. As the former Director of Education at the Asian Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, I am not at all surprised to see the level of prejudice and discrimination that exists from both the White LGBT community and the “mainstream” Asian American community toward Asian American LGBT.
The results unfortunately show just how perilous a position many Asian American LGBT find themselves in — being unable to find appropriate support from either White gays and lesbians on the one hand, and from straight Asian Americans on the other. Add into that mix the fact that many are recent working-class immigrants and the almost constant threat of HIV/AIDS and you can come to the conclusion that in many respects, LGBT are one of, if not the most marginalized and vulnerable members of the Asian American community, and in American society in general.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Report on Asian American LGBT" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2005/02/report-on-asian-american-lgbt/> ().
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