The preliminary report of a survey conducted earlier this year finds that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) residents of the Municipality of Anchorage experience significant levels of harassment, violence, and discrimination in employment, housing, education, public services, and child custody as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity or presentation. Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey: Preliminary Report by Melissa S. Green was released today by the Anchorage-based nonprofit Identity on behalf of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey was conducted in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, from January through March 2011, with 268 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) respondents included in the final dataset. The preliminary report presents key findings from the survey on the incidence of violence, intimidation, and discrimination in employment, housing, education, child custody proceedings, and public services experienced by respondents in the Municipality of Anchorage because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender presentation. Summary data is presented for the total study population of 268 respondents, as well as for the 50 respondents who had been resident in the Municipality of Anchorage for less than five years.
Results show that discrimination, harassment, and bias are experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual residents of the Municipality of Anchorage at levels comparable to those experienced by respondents to One in Ten, a statewide survey of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Alaskans conducted in 1985 (published in 1986), and that that discrimination, harassment, and bias are also commonly experienced by transgender residents of the Municipality of Anchorage. The 50 respondents who had lived in Anchorage less than five years reported experiencing discrimination/bias in Anchorage at only slightly lower rates than the survey population as a whole, despite of a much shorter span of time in Anchorage within which to accumulate experiences of discrimination.
More comprehensive information from the study, including methodology, complete demographic data on survey respondents, detailed analysis of the findings, and comments from survey respondents will be included in the final report (forthcoming in December 2011).
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey came about as a result of a perceived need for quantifiable data on the incidence of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage. It represents the first effort since the late 1980s to compile rigorous data about the incidence of sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Anchorage — and the first effort ever to document Anchorage or Alaska-specific data about discrimination and bias on the basis of gender identity and expression.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey is a collaborative project of the Alaska LGBT community and a coalition of Alaska organizations which serve the LGBT community, including Identity, Inc., the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (Four A’s), Alaskans Together for Equality (ATE), Equality Works, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska. The survey questionnaire and overall research project were designed by members of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force in consultation with Dr. Brad A. Myrstol and Khristy Parker of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. Shelby Carpenter, LGBT Public Policy Coordinator with the ACLU of Alaska during the first half of work on the survey, was project manager for survey distribution and data collection, assisted by Drew Phoenix. Dr. Myrstol conducted statistical analysis on the final dataset. The principal investigator for the study is Melissa S. Green, who prepared this report and is also writing the final report. Questions about the survey can be directed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey: Preliminary Report by Melissa S. Green is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.identityinc.org/.
Here is the text of the media advisory released this morning by Identity.
For Immediate Release
Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director
Report shows discrimination against lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender Alaskans.
Anchorage, AK, Nov. 10, 2011 — The nonprofit group Identity released today preliminary results of a study conducted this year about discrimination in Anchorage’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey’s initial results indicate members of the LGBT community in Anchorage continue to experience significant levels of discrimination in areas of employment, housing, education, public services and child custody as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity or presentation. They also experience high levels of verbal harassment and physical violence.
“Unfortunately, we know discrimination within the LGBT community continues to be a problem in Anchorage as it does in other communities across the country,” stated Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director of Identity. “The survey will help us quantify the problems we face so we can work to eliminate discrimination in our community as a whole.”
In the area of employment, 44 percent of respondents reported being harassed by employers or other employees; nearly 21 percent believed they were turned down for a job when otherwise qualified; almost 18 percent were denied a promotion and close to 15 percent said they were fired by their employer based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In housing, over 18 percent of respondents reported being harassed by a landlord or other tenants, and more than 10 percent said they were denied a housing lease, even though they were otherwise qualified, because they were LGBT.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey also shows that roughly three out of four survey respondents experienced verbal abuse, and nearly 43 percent were subjected to threats of physical violence. Further, almost 13 percent experienced property damage because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Melissa S. Green was the principal investigator for the project and authored the preliminary report released today. Green was also part of two similar research efforts in the 1980s conducted by Identity to document sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Alaska. The new study added transgender Alaskans to the survey and was conducted between January and March of this year, and involved paper and online surveys collected from 268 respondents in Anchorage who identified themselves as being LGBT. The project was designed by members of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force in consultation with Dr. Brad A. Myrstol and Khristy Parker of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Myrstol also assisted with statistical analysis.
Identity is an Anchorage-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1977, and provides programs supporting equality for the LGBT community and its allies. The complete report from the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey will be released in December 2011.
Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director
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