5 Challenges Confronting The LGBTQAI+ Community

Dennis Richmond, Jr., M.S.Ed.
Published on June 05, 2024, 12:05 pm
FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 4 mins

Pride Month shines a colorful rainbow on communities across the nation, but it also casts a light on the challenges faced by the LGBTQAI+ community. Despite progress in recent decades, at least five pressing issues remain. This article aims to shed light on these challenges.

1. Mental Health

The LGBTQAI+ community experiences significantly higher rates of mental health issues compared to the general population. Studies show elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation among LGBTQAI+ individuals. According to a report by The Trevor Project, 40% of LGBTQAI+ youth have seriously considered suicide in the past year, with 68% of those youths indicating that their mental health was “poor” most or all the time during the CoViD-19 pandemic. This underscores the importance of accessible mental health resources and supportive environments. For those in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides crucial support.

2. Homelessness

LGBTQAI+ youth are disproportionately represented among the homeless population in the United States. A study by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that LGBTQAI+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their non-LGBTQAI+ peers. In New York City alone, an alarming number of these youth reside in the Bronx. They often face rejection from their families and struggle to find supportive housing environments. The Ali Forney Center in NYC, dedicated to helping homeless LGBTQAI+ youth, reports that nearly 40% of their clients come from the Bronx, highlighting the urgent need for targeted interventions in this borough.

3. Trans Rights

Trans individuals, especially trans women, face numerous challenges, from accessing gender-affirming healthcare to achieving legal recognition of their gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign reports that in 2020, at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the majority of whom were Black and Latina transgender women. In the Bronx, incidents of violence against transgender women have been distressingly frequent. For instance, in 2021, a trans woman was brutally attacked in broad daylight, highlighting the persistent dangers faced by this community. 

4. Violence and Hate Crimes

Members of the LGBTQAI+ community are at an increased risk of experiencing violence and hate crimes. According to the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistics, there has been a significant uptick in reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity in recent years. In New York City, the Anti-Violence Project documented a rise in anti-LGBTQAI+ violence, with numerous incidents occurring in the Bronx. This includes attacks on gay men, lesbian women, and gender non-conforming individuals, fostering an environment of fear and insecurity.

5. International Rights

Globally, the situation can be even more dire. In many countries, LGBTQAI+ individuals face severe human rights violations. Criminalization, torture, and even execution are grim realities in places where homosexuality is still illegal. According to ILGA World’s report, over 70 countries continue to criminalize same-sex relationships, with 12 imposing the death penalty. This international struggle for basic human rights needs immediate attention.

While Pride Month is a time for celebration and recognition of the LGBTQAI+ community’s progress, it also serves as a crucial reminder of history and the work that still needs to be done. The Ballroom icon Niambi E. Stanley reminds us, “Pride was a riot.” Health issues, homelessness, trans rights, violence, and international human rights violations remain significant challenges today, just as they were in the 1960s. By bringing attention to these issues, we can foster greater understanding, empathy, and action to support the LGBTQAI+ community, ensuring that everyone can live in a world where they can simply live.

Dennis Richmond, Jr., M.S.Ed.
Dennis Richmond, Jr. (born February 11, 1995) is an educator, historian, author, and news reporter. He has a rich history of promoting education and scholarship opportunities for students. He is committed to uncovering and sharing stories about the Black and LGBTQAI+ communities. Dennis has dedicated his efforts to fostering a love for learning and providing valuable resources to students. He is the Founder of The New York-New Jersey HBCU Initiative and the author of He Spoke at My School: An Educational Journey.