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Southern LGBTQ+ Youth Growing Up in 'Hostile Social Climate': Study

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Young LGBTQ+ people in the American South are “coming of age amid a hostile social climate,” with political attacks and, often, a lack of support from their families and peers, says a new report.Those are the findings in “Coming of Age as an LGBTQ Southerner: Family, Faith, Education & Health: Report of the 2021 Survey of Southern LGBTQ Experiences.” Just released, it was produced by the Campaign for Southern Equality and Campus Pride.It’s based on a self-administered online survey completed by 4,146 LGBTQ+ Southerners between August 3 and December 20, 2021.

There were at least 100 participants from each of the 13 Southern states, and the survey group is diverse in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.It’s estimated that one-third of LGBTQ+ Americans live in the South, “where they are likely to have fewer legal protections and face more anti-LGBTQ policies than their peers in other parts of the country,” the report says.2021 saw a record number of anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed in state legislatures, with many becoming law, and the trend has continued into 2022.

The trend has been particularly pronounced in the South, the report notes.“Lawmakers across the South have attempted to block, and in some cases criminalize, the provision of health care for transgender youth,” it states.

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