Social Work and Human Services Racism in the Lesbian Community

Racism in the Lesbian Community

Portrayals of racism in the Lesbian community in the US

The Lesbian Community comprises lesbian and gay individuals, and these are people who engage in same-sex relationships and marriages. In the recent years and times, racism has been one of the major concerns in the community, and this has seen discrimination and bigotry of people based on their race, nationality, and ethnicity. The domination of the lesbian community by white people is because of their belief that they are superior to other races. Gay or lesbian couples from different races hardly exist. Anti-black racism is common in the Lesbian community, particularly in the US. There are myriads of reports and complaints from black people regarding racist experiences from their white counterparts. This has largely led to the blacks’ repudiation of labels, such as ‘gay’ and connection to the white lesbian culture. It is understood that black gay men and women in the US and other Western countries are discriminated and harassed by the white gays in gay clubs, restaurants, and bars. The situation was previously worsened by the display of signs in gay bars prohibiting the entry of black gays, commonly referred to as faggots by white gays. Black gays are also discriminated by people of their race who believe that lesbianism or the gay culture is unacceptable and is against human morals. There have been debates regarding the same, and the decision by the US to legalize the practice has faced strong opposition, particularly from the black community.

Racist practices in the Lesbian community, particularly in the US target not only black gays but also Hispanic and Latino gay persons. In the recent years, the greatest level of discrimination in the community has been reported by Latino gay persons, particularly those with dark skin color and features that are described as indigenous. The escalation of the discrimination saw the foundation of Latino gay and lesbian organizations in the early 1980s and 1987 respectively. Protests were also staged in 2006 against the racist practices that targeted the Latino gay men and lesbians.

Socio-Economic Indicators of the Lesbian Community

It should be noted that like other communities, the Lesbian community faces numerous socio-economic challenges. First, a larger percentage of the community’s population is homeless, and this is attributed to social exclusion. The members of the Lesbian community are frequently faced by social challenges, such as discrimination and harassment, and these occur at either the workplace or school. Moreover, several gay men and lesbians are seen to live in poverty, and this is because of the resilient stereotypic ideologies from other members of the society and the marginalization that they face (Sears & Badgett, 2012). The number of lesbians who have access to employment opportunities is small. Most of them are turned down in job interviews or do not receive information regarding employment opportunities. As a result, they end up lacking income, and this sees most of them engage in criminal activities.  It is argued that there are roughly 9 million members of the Lesbian community, and 50% of this figure comprises women. Lesbians are victims of sexual discrimination and abuse both at school and at the workplace (Sears & Badgett, 2012). Most of them lack consistent sources of income, and this underscores the wide economic gap between the lesbian community and other people.



Sears, B., & Badgett, L. (2012). Beyond Stereotypes: Poverty in the LGBT Community. The Williams Institute. Retrieved online from