The Impact of Stigma and Discrimination against LGBT People in Florida
by Christy Mallory, Taylor N.T. Brown, Susan E. Walch & Brad Sears
Florida’s legal landscape and social climate put the state’s 663,000 LGBT adults and 100,000 youth at risk of discrimination and harassment. The social, economic and health effects of stigma and discrimination against LGBT people cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
This report documents the prevalence and impact of several forms of stigma and discrimination against LGBT individuals in Florida, including harassment and discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations; harassment and bullying in schools; and family rejection of LGBT youth.
The report finds that LGBT people in Florida experience economic instability and negative health outcomes:
- 28% of LGBT adults in Florida do not have enough money for food compared to 19% of non-LGBT adults, according to Gallup data. Similarly, 26% of LGBT adults in Florida report that they do not have enough money to meet their health care needs compared to 20% of non-LGBT adults.
- LGBT adults in Florida are significantly more likely to have been diagnosed with a depressive disorder, to be current smokers, and to report binge drinking than non-LGBT adults, according to data from the 2012 Florida Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey.
- LGB students in Florida were nearly four times more likely to have seriously considered suicide than non-LGB students in the prior year, according to data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
The negative impacts of stigma and discrimination against LGBT people in Florida include:
- Reduced employee productivity and employer ability to recruit and retain talented employees;
- Reduced lifetime achievement of LGBT youth; and
- Increased costs associated with higher incidence of major depressive disorder, smoking, and binge drinking among the LGBT population.