May 23, 2016
By: Angelica Walker

QTPOC, or Queer and Trans Persons of Color, have traditionally been left out of mainstream activist movements fighting for LGBT or POC rights on an individual level. If we want to lift up these oppressed groups, it is absolutely crucial that we understand the unique challenges faced by QTPOC. The new infographic below the cut explains some of those challenges.

To summarize the infographic:

  • Racial minorities are regularly left out of mainstream LGBT media. LGBT magazines, blogs, and television channels are heavily targeted towards white, cisgender gay men. To make matters worse, much of that mainstream LGBT culture has been appropriated from black communities; media outlets will capitalize on white gay men using trends that black people have been using for years, but fail to show or credit the people that actually created it. For specific examples, check out this recent Vice article, Black Gay Men Schooled ‘Out’ Magazine on the Real Origins of Mainstream Gay Trends.

  • Blacks are more likely to identify as LGBT than any other race, but the general black population is less LGBT-friendly than any other race. A 2014 Pew Research study found that only 42% of Blacks support gay marriage, compared with 53% of whites, and that 70% of Blacks believe homosexuality is a sin, compared to only 43% of whites. Black LGBT folks often face ostracization from their friends and family. According to CNN anchor Don Lemon, who came out as gay in 2011, “it’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture.”

  • Racism is rampant in the LGBT dating scene, especially on online hookup apps like Grindr. Men often include racist disclaimers like, “no chocolate, no rice, no spice” on their profiles. According to one QTPOC, “people only tend to want you for sexual purposes and don’t see you as relationship worthy.” A 2014 survey by FS, a British gay magazine, found that 80% of Black men, 79% of Asian men, and 35% of Latino men have “personally experienced racism in Britain’s gay scene”. Although no similar studies have been done in the United States, trends are largely the same.

If you’d like to learn more and help support QTPOC, check out the Garden of Peace Project. This local community project is committed to, “upholding and affirming the lives and lived experiences of queer and/or trans folks of color.”

Angelica Walker is an intern for The New People covering LGBTQ rights and criminal justice reform. She is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh studying social work, legal studies, writing, and political science.