Study Finds a Link Between Family Support and Health/Happiness Among LGBT People of Color

jbattleThe Social Justice Sexuality project – a study of over 5,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of color (POC) sampled from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico – finds that spirituality and family support are key predictors to overall health, happiness, and civic engagement.

The study was conducted by Professors Juan Battle, professor of sociology, public health, and urban education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Antonio Jay Pastrana of John Jay College, and Jessie Daniels of Hunter College and the CUNY Graduate Center.  The results were presented at the annual meeting of the Association of Black Sociologists.

“All too often when we see LGBT and POC in the same sentence, we only think of HIV, depression, oppression, and pathology” Professor Battle told JBHE.  “However, this study’s agenda was to celebrate and not (further) pathologize their experiences.”

Dr. Battle observes, “Similar to people of color in the larger population, their LGBT counterparts rely heavily on their faith and family support to navigate and negotiate racism.  Therefore, when those supports are in place and readily available, respondents in the study report having more positive health outcomes, being happier, and are more likely to be civically engaged in their racial communities.”

Professor Battle is a graduate of York College in Pennsylvania. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is the co-editor of Black Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies (Rutgers University Press, 2009) and an editor of Free At Last?: Black America in the Twenty-First Century (Transaction Publishers, 2006).

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  1. I agree with this study. In my personal experience, I might have had a very different emotional and social history, had I had heartfelt support. Being petty or the sorts of vengeful vindictiveness I see happening in families seems anathema to the needs of LGBTPOC.

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