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A new study published in the Washington Post concludes that “LGBT people are more progressive in their racial attitudes than their cisgender heterosexual counterparts.”
Andrew R. Flores, an assistant professor at Mills College, examined the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES), a recently released survey that includes questions about a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and measures attitudes about general consciousness regarding racism.
Flores writes: “I compared LGBT people of color and LGBT white people to cisgender (i.e., not transgender), heterosexual people of color and white people.”
Survey participants were asked to what extent they agree or disagree with three statements regarding race relations in the United States.
The three statements in the LGBT racism survey were:
I am angry that racism exists.
White people in the U.S. have certain advantages because of the color of their skin.
Racial problems in the U.S. are rare, isolated situations.
“In all three, white LGBT people held more racially progressive attitudes than their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts,” concludes Flores.
In fact, on average, LGBT white people, LGBT people of color and cisgender heterosexual people of color expressed approximately the same attitudes about race. The greatest differences can be seen in the acknowledgment of white privilege. About 70% of cisgender heterosexual people of color, 70% of LGBT white people, and 77% of LGBT people of color agree that “White people have certain advantages because of the color of their skin,” compared with about 41% of cisgender heterosexual white people. In this survey, white gay, bisexual, and transgender men are just as racially aware as those of color, and similar patterns exist between LGBT white women and women of color.
While the stats show more progressive attitudes, it does not represent actions, which Flores say may still be inherently racist.
“Being aware of racism and holding racist attitudes may well be distinct but related concepts; in other words, some white LGBT people may be more likely to perceive racism while also behaving or speaking in a racist way.”