National Strategy For Black Gay Youth In America: 2nd Quarter Report


2nd Quarter Report

Here is a brief look at what 2,525 black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth had to say in our national needs assessment which is part of our National Strategy For Black Gay Youth In America, a national, youth led, multi-year initiative supported by NYPS, Advocates For Youth, GLAAD, Campus Pride and over 50 local LGBT youth programs.

Our first quarter sample was taken with only 578 respondents, and if our current pattern holds up, we will have surpassed 9,000 respondents at the end of the first full year of the project.

For detailed information on how the national strategy came to be and the goals of this project, email

Process: Members of NYPS’s Code Red (national social marketing program) and Ambassador (national youth leadership program) as well as participating youth programs, spend almost everyday recruiting black LGBT youth, under the age of 26, to take the online assessment. This is a 100% youth driven process. One of the goals is to reach black LGBT youth who do NOT attend a LGBT center, which is the majority. NYPS makes contact with every 20 respondents, via the contact information they provide, for follow-up. In the case we are not able to reach that person, their answer is not included.

The point of this needs assessment is to listen and be non-judgmental in a effort to gather information. The use of peers to get youth participation was intentional. Most questions allow them to speak their mind.

Since our last report, the following highlights we wish to share are:

  • The Results from black LGBT youth who live in the south were presented at Ignite 2012: Queer Youth Of Color Organizing Summit in Atlanta, GA at Georgia State University.
  • A media request was made for results from black LGBT youth who live in the Philadelphia area as well as the East Coast in general.
  • A special report for the LGBT Health Equity Summit was presented in Kansas City, MO on tobacco use among black LGBT youth in 32 states.
  • The American Psychological Association and CLASP Policy Solutions That Work For Low Income People, referenced our National Strategy For Black Gay Youth In America in a Document called: MIDDLE SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL BOYS OF COLOR POLICY SCAN AND INFORMATION GATHERING.
  • A presentation was made at the Gay Men’s Health Summit in Washington, D.C. which highlighted on the YMSM results of the national needs assessment.

Results (as of September 15, 2012)

The youngest person to take the survey was 12 and the oldest 26.

Every state in the U.S was represented this time, unlike in the first quarter.

The question on HIV status was optional. 10.8% were not sure of their status, 8.4% were HIV positive, 80.8% were HIV negative

Black LGBT youth nationally considered these to be the Top Barriers They Face – which THEY felt were directly related to their sexuality: (multiple choice)

  • Bullying 55.1%
  • Mental Abuse 48.6%
  • Unemployment 20.8%
  • Physical Abuse 19.5%
  • Sexual Abuse 16.7%
  • Homelessness 12.3%
  • Access to Healthcare 11.5%
  • There were 87 write in answers that will be available in the detailed, final report.

Do you believe that “coming out” would cause your family/friends to disown you?

  • Yes 54.1%
  • No 34.8%
  • Not Sure  13.8%
  • Only 2 youth skipped this question

Have you ever thought about or considered suicide because of issues surrounding your sexuality?

  • Yes 41.3%
  • No 58.7%

This is the part of the survey where youth were able to speak their mind. Youth were asked what three things would make their life easier as a black LGBT youth in America? Answers were similar to the first quarter across the board with  Acceptance being the most important to them. The least important item remained marriage equality. Below are some responses from youth that we wish to highlight:

“for insecure men to stop being bashing gay men..for the church to stop judging…for people to stop killing gays…”

“If media outlets wouldnt always portray young black gays as fem or extra”

“If gays themselves could get along instead of being so conflicting with each other.”

“ if young gays would at least have some respect for the way they look”

“1. Housing 2. Healthcare 3. Employment”

“Equality, respect for who I am and what I do – not who I love, and the banishment of the idea that a gay man cannot possibly be masculine or moral. The world could use a change from such a spell of ignorance.”

“Better role models and a safe haven that doesn’t close down every other month. Resourcefulness should be a team effort.”

How often do you get tested (STD)?

  • 37.3% Twice a year
  • 36.6% Every 3 months
  • 20.1% Never
  • 6.0% every month
  • 42 youth skipped this question.

*All 10 questions on the assessment were created by a youth panel. SurveyMonkey provides results.

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