AUSTIN (KXAN) — A survey done by Austin’s LGBTQ+ Commission found respondents want the city to create more LGBTQ+ community spaces, keeping people in recovery, queer and transgender people of color and other marginalized communities in mind.
The study’s results, which looked at the quality of life for LGBTQIA+ individuals in the Austin area, were released last week and presented Monday.
The study included more than 200 interviews from town halls, stakeholders and focus groups as well as responses from a 156-question online survey. The more than 2,100 responses to the online survey came from LGBTQIA+ individuals living in Travis, Hays, Bastrop, Williamson, Burnet and Blanco Counties.
The report says many people surveyed feel accepted and safe with chosen family and friends at work but not in public places like restaurants. That’s why they expressed a need for LGBTQ+ community spaces in the city of Austin.
The study says 17% of respondents are spending half their monthly income on housing, and instances of discrimination against LGBTQIA+ people seeking housing were reported during the interviews. Housing was the highest-ranked priority for all participants, according to the study’s findings.
Queer people of color, youth and transgender/gender-expansive individuals had a greater percentage of negative interaction with law enforcement, the study found, and trans people of color experienced more employment denials/terminations, negative interactions with police and suicidality.
The first LGBTQIA+ Quality of Life survey was done in 2017 when the commission was founded.
“LGBTQIA+ communities have been telling us what this survey reaffirms and validates – that we need to apply equity to the broad vision and goals we have for this city in order to be a welcoming city that allows everyone to thrive,” said Chief Equity Officer Brion Oaks in a statement. “It is then imperative for the City of Austin to understand how to address these disparities and improve the quality of life of all LGBTQIA+ communities, especially for those who experience the brunt of these inequitable outcomes.”
If you are an LGBTQIA+ individual struggling with mental health, you can access help through the following hotlines:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800)273-8255
- The Trevor Project: (866)488-7386