Recent years have seen study after study confirming what some grassroots queer activists have been claiming for decades: poverty among LGBT people is at crisis levels. Queer women, parents, people of color, senior citizens, youth, immigrants, rural residents, and transgender people all face poverty rates that are higher than their heterosexual, cisgendered peers. Yet there has been very little attention paid to this epidemic by the national LGBT organizations and statewide equality groups. This panel will present an overview of research findings, an examination of the causes and manifestations of queer poverty, a discussion of policy implications, and some examples of community-based responses to this epidemic. The panels will make the case for why poverty needs to become the number one issue on the new “gay agenda.” The panelists will each present their own papers (briefly summarized below) and then will engage in a dialogue together about the implications for the LGBT movement in a post-marriage world. Thus, this panel will have six components: four individual presentations, a dialogue among the four panelists, and finally, a discussion/Q&A with the audience.
Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis
Joseph will provide an overview of research findings, discussing research studies that document high poverty rates among numerous LGBT populations (women, parents, people of color, senior citizens, youth, immigrants, rural residents, and transgender people).
Amber will focus on how queer people are engaged in survival economies, exploring the precarious forms of employment available to many low-income communities.
Cara will highlight the issues faced by LGBT people of color, and the ways in which poverty impacts them and the solutions being advocated by queer activists of color.