National Black Justice Coalition, HIT Strategies National Survey of Black People Explores How Black LGBTQ+ People Are Viewed in Community

Research finds a majority of Black people support Black LGBTQ+; passive allies are moveable with right messaging. 

WASHINGTON — Today, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), in partnership with HIT Strategies, unveiled a groundbreaking national survey exploring how the Black LGBTQ+ community is viewed among Black people. The research was supported by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), LGBTQ Task Force, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Family Equality, and the GLSEN.


One of the first surveys of its kind, explicitly sampling Black people (1,300 participants) on Black LGBTQ+ people and issues – including an oversampling of Black LGBTQ+ participants to provide a more representative view of this subgroup – it investigates the sentiments, stories, perceptions, and priorities around Black values and progressive policies, to better understand how they impact Black views on Black LGBTQ+ people.


  • Support exists: Nearly two-thirds of Black people believe the Black community should do more to protect Black LGBTQ+ people, especially young people.
    • 65% of Black people consider themselves supporters of Black LGBTQ+ people and rights, including 57% of self-reported churchgoers
    • 73% of Gen-Z agree that the Black community should do more to support Black LGBTQ+ people.​
  • Black people are moveable, especially when Active Accomplices and Passive Allies are exposed to compelling messages.​​
    • After participants were exposed to Black LGBTQ+ stories, policies, values, and more, there was an increase in Passive Allies (8%) and Active Accomplices (3%) who believed in a “shared fate” between Black and Black LGBTQ+ people
    • Passive Allies are those who only somewhat support LGBTQ+ rights but think they should do more to support Black LGBTQ+ people
    • Active Accomplices are those who use their privilege to challenge existing conditions at the risk of their comfort and well-being
  • Black by default: Black people express very high linked fate across the community and default to seeing all Black people as Black. When prompted to consider intersectional, queer sexual identities, support declines.
    • 86% of Black people nationally report having a feeling of shared fate and connectivity with other Black people in America.​
    • But this feeling doesn’t fully extend to the Black LGBTQ+ community; around half (51%) of Black people feel shared fate with Black LGBTQ+ people.
  • Queer = white: Black people who see “queer” before or “performed” by Black people are least likely to be supportive.
    •  34% reported the belief that Black LGBTQ+ people lead with their sexual orientation or gender identity. These participants were significantly less likely to support the Black LGBTQ+ community ​and most likely to report not feeling a shared fate with Black LGBTQ+ people.​
    • Over half (52%) believe Black LGBTQ+ people lead equally with their racial identity and sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Black unity is the pathway to increasing support: Diverse Black people overwhelmingly share the same values. Focusing on unity, shared values, and threats against Black LGBTQ+ people increases support.
    • Taglines such as  “If you’re Black, you’re Black, and we’re all part of the same struggle” and “Being LGBTQ+ does not make someone less Black or make them less deserving of support from Black people” received strong support from participants (79% found these phrases convincing).
    • 92% of Black people reported concern about youth suicide after being shown statistics about the heightened rate among Black LGBTQ+ youth; this includes 83% of self-reported opponents of LGBTQ+ rights​.
  • Focus on the moveable middle: Passive supporters of LGBTQ+ rights are a top target for messaging.​ The following are also targets: young voters, women, older voters, and people in the northeast. ​
    • Black people’s support for LGBTQ+ rights can be sorted into three major groups:​ 29% Active Accomplices, ​25% Passive Allies (with a high potential to be moved)​, and 35% Opponents​ (the opps).
    • Among Opponents, “competing priorities” and “religious beliefs” are the two most significant barriers to supporting Black LGBTQ+ people and issues.
  • Proximity matters: Social proximity to LGBTQ+ people is correlated with support.
    • 40% of Black people have a family member who identifies as LGBTQ+. These people are the most concerned about the well-being of Black LGBTQ+/SGL people.​
    • 80% of Black people have some proximity to gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer people, but only 42% have some proximity to transgender or gender-expansive people.

Beyond these top findings, the survey also includes a comprehensive breakdown of Black peoples’ prioritization of values and issues in comparison to those of Black LGBTQ+ people. It analyzes messaging on topics such as health, safety, education, religion, and others to inform the work of individuals and organizations supporting Black LGBTQ+/SGL people and policies. It also provides insight concerning the Black electorate ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

“This research study highlights the importance of turning down white noise to better appreciate the significance of Black Queer leaders at this particular moment in the maturation of our democracy,” said NBJC CEO and Executive Director Dr. David J. Johns. “We’ve experienced the result of white and white LGBTQ+ leadership and know the tendency that white racial actors have for tapping Black people – women in particular – to clean things up. Those who purport to care about democracy, progressive progress, or collective freedom must prioritize investing in Black queer, trans, and gender-expansive leaders who have a demonstrated history of loving and advocating on behalf of the Black community. This groundbreaking study provides data that should prove useful to anyone seeking to achieve equity, increase opportunities and outcomes for Black people, and strengthen democracy. ” 

“To ensure the protection of Black queer folks, we must acknowledge the issues they face and shine a light on the plight and progress of this resilient community. The research collected by the National Black Justice Collective and HIT Strategies highlights the work that still needs to be done to support those that live at the intersection of being Black and queer,” said Human Rights Campaign Foundation President, Kelley Robinson. “The Human Rights Campaign is honored to be included in efforts that center the Black experience and work hand-in-hand with other highly respected organizations to safeguard the rights of a community that is often overlooked. With these survey results, we are presented with an opportunity to bridge the gap between the next generation of Black LGBTQ+ leaders and allies who truly believe equality isn’t just for one segmented group of people but a right for all – regardless of race, gender identity, or sexuality.” 

“NCLR is honored to have participated in this survey by the National Black Justice Collective and HIT Strategies,” says Imani Rupert-Gordon, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “Too often, the data that we use to understand the needs of LGBTQ communities doesn’t include enough Black perspectives, and so the solutions don’t always work for Black people. This research highlights important perceptions and perspectives that will allow our messaging strategies and analysis to include a thoughtful, inclusive, and intersectional approach to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect all LGBTQ+ people.”

“At GLSEN, we believe that understanding and addressing the intersectional experiences of Black LGBTQ+ youth is crucial for fostering more inclusive and supportive environments for every learner. This survey by the National Black Justice Collective and HIT Strategies underscores the urgent need for messaging and policies that resonate with the realities of our communities. These findings show a significant opportunity to mobilize passive allies and enhance support for Black LGBTQ+ individuals, especially among younger generations. It is essential that we continue to advocate for and invest in the leadership and well-being of Black LGBTQ+ youth to ensure their voices are heard and their rights are protected.” — Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, Executive Director of GLSEN

“It is exciting to be a part of a project that is centering the experiences of Black people related to gender, sexual orientation and democracy. Movements, decision-makers, and organizations spend a lot of time assuming and/or ignoring the experiences, perspectives, wishes, and fears of Black people in this country. This has led to the perpetuation of dangerous stereotypes that have cost our country time, money, and progress. I hope those who take the time to dive into the research are inspired by the vulnerability shared and the opportunity that flows from listening to, trusting, and being responsive to the political and cultural needs of Black folks.” – Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force. 

“It’s a privilege to be part of this revolutionary and transformative research project by the National Black Justice Collective (NBJC), in partnership with HIT Strategies,” said Jaymes Black, Family Equality President & CEO. “To effectively serve and support Black LGBTQ+ families, Family Equality must clearly understand the community’s perceptions, priorities, needs, and intersectionalities. The survey findings will guide and strengthen our advocacy efforts, arriving at a crucial moment when both communities – Black and LGBTQ+ – need our support more than ever.”

“This research project is exactly why HIT Strategies exist. To correct under-representation and misrepresentation of diverse communities, to explore intersectionality across our identities, and to empower movement leaders with the insights they need to develop data-driven strategies that uplift our communities.” — TERRANCE W., HIT STRATEGIES 

If you’d like to learn more about the survey and its findings, NBJC CEO and Executive Director Dr. David J. Johns, Ph. D., and the afore-quoted members of the leadership committee are available to meet and discuss them further or for an interview.

About The National Black Justice Collective

The National Black Justice Collective (NBJC) is America’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.

About Family Equality

Family Equality is creating a world where everyone can experience the love, safety, and belonging of family. As the leading national organization for current and future LGBTQ+ families, we work to ensure that everyone has the freedom to find, form, and sustain their families by advancing LGBTQ+ equality through advocacy, support, storytelling, and education.

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