Examining The Lives Of Lesbians On International Women’s Day

Our guest bloggers are Melissa Dunn, intern for LGBT Progress, and Crosby Burns, Research Associate for LGBT Progress.

Today marks the 103rd International Women’s Day. On this day people around the world are coming  together to celebrate the monumental achievements women have made over the past century as well as push for further change over the next. Those changes can’t come fast enough for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender women in our nation.

Overall, these women are more likely to experience more socioeconomic and health inequalities than their heterosexual counterparts and even more inequalities than male gay and transgender Americans.  At the same time, LGBT women are the most likely female demographic to serve their country, and LGBT women of color are more likely to be raising children than their white counterparts.

CAP’s new Gay and Transgender Women By the Numbers feature takes a deeper look at the realities of this demographic on a day dedicated to the achievements of women everywhere. Here is a snapshot:

  • 51 percent: The amount of black women in same-sex households who are raising children—only 20 percent of white women in same-sex households are raising children.
  • 49 percent: The amount of lesbians and bisexual women who say they have had a child.
  • 20 percent: The amount of female same-sex couples who are raising children and living in poverty, compared to 9 percent of married heterosexual couples who are raising children and living in poverty.
  • 35 percent: The number of black lesbians and bisexual women who have had a mammogram in the past two years, compared to 60 percent of white lesbians and bisexual women.
  • Almost 50 percent: The amount of black lesbians who have experienced some form of domestic violence, compared to 25 percent of heterosexual women of all races.
  • Three times more: Lesbian couples were three times more likely to serve in the U.S. military between 1990 and 2000 compared to women generally.
  • 11 times more: Black lesbians are 11 times more likely to serve in the U.S. military compared to women generally.