The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination against LGBT People in Texas

by Christy Mallory, Taylor N.T. Brown, Stephen Russell & Brad Sears
April 2017

Texas’s legal landscape and social climate contribute to an environment in which LGBT people are at risk of experiencing stigma and harassment.  Stigma and discrimination can lead to economic instability and poorer health for LGBT people.  These individual-level outcomes, in turn, can negatively affect the state, businesses, and the economy.

The study documents the prevalence and impact on LGBT people of several forms of stigma and discrimination, including harassment and discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; harassment and bullying in schools; and family rejection.  The study also discusses the economic implications of such discrimination.

The study finds that LGBT people in Texas experience economic instability and health disparities:

  • LGBT people in Texas are more likely to report that they do not have enough money for food and health care than non-LGBT people, according to Gallup data.
  • The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 17% of respondents in Texas were unemployed, and 34% were living in poverty.
  • LGBT adults in Texas are significantly more likely than non-LGBT people to experience health outcomes that have been linked with stigma and discrimination including major depressive disorder and binge drinking, according to data from the 2015 Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.
  • LGB students in Houston and Fort Worth, Texas, were about three times more likely to have seriously considered suicide than non-LGB students in the past year, according to data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.

The economic implications of stigma and discrimination against LGBT people in Texas include:

  • Reduced employee productivity and employer ability to recruit and retain talented employees;
  • Increased LGBT individuals’ reliance on public benefits;
  • Reduced lifetime achievement of LGBT youth; and
  • Increased costs associated with higher incidence of major depressive disorder and binge drinking among the LGBT population.

Read the press release.

Read the report.