University of Wisconsin–Madison

Pathways Into Poverty: Lived Experiences Among LGBTQ People

Type Policy Brief or Report
Year 2020
Level City or Town, County
State(s) All States
Policy Areas Civil Rights, Economic Justice
Extensive research has shown that LGBTQ people in the United States experience poverty at higher rates compared to cisgender heterosexual people. Among LGBTQ adults, transgender people and cisgender bisexual women experience the highest rates of economic insecurity. Through interviews with low-income LGBTQ persons, this report documents their experiences with poverty, including factors leading to and maintaining economic insecurity within the LGBTQ community, such as childhood poverty, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, anti-LGBT bias within families and employment settings, and more. The findings outlined in this report have implications for anti-poverty advocates, because systemic oppression and interpersonal stigma on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation affect many people’s economic stability.

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