Homelessness, health care are priorities for LGBTQ Texans, study finds


A recent statewide study identified homelessness and limited access to clinically competent medical care as some of the main issues affecting members of the LGBTQ community in Texas. 

Texas Pride Impact Funds funded the statewide study on the broad scope of needs for members of LGBTQ communities. The foundation held a town hall to discuss the findings Wednesday evening. 

Foundation members said the 2017 IMPACT! Texas Needs Assessment study is the first-ever statewide effort to assess the needs of Texas LGBTQ communities.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas collected data through surveys, census data, focus groups and interviews with leaders of the LGBTQ community in Texas. 

LGBTQ organizations throughout the state also answered questions about the types of services they provide, client demographics, revenue and funding priorities.

The study surveyed more than 850 people and found: 

  • 52 percent of respondents under 30 have experienced homelessness. 
  • 43 percent of respondents under 30 postponed medical care due to insufficient resources. 
  • 30 percent of respondents said they hadn’t disclosed their gender identity or sexual orientation to their healthcare providers. 
  • Respondents under 28 and over 55 reported high levels of poor mental health. 

Kara Sutton, a lead researcher, said healthcare is a “huge problem.” When she and her team asked respondents to pick the issues that worried them the most out of a list of 40 topics, 70 percent said health was the top one. 

“This was a lot higher than I think any of us were expecting,” she said. “And the problem is that the second highest-rated issue was LGBT cultural competency or competent care.”

Her team found that lack of access to routine care also correlated to the lack of competent care.

  “What we were hearing was the difference between friendly care and clinically competent care,” Sutton said. “Someone might be courteous to you as a doctor, but they might not be clinically trained to treat needs specific to the LGBT or transgender community.”

Sutton said they wanted to hear from community members and organizations about their needs.

Some findings from 78 LGBTQ organizations surveyed include:

  • 50 percent of the organizations that responded were formed in the last 23 years.
  • 77 percent of organizations in Central Texas did not deliver transgender mental health services.
  • There is high staff shortage and turnover. 

A 36-page summary was released to town hall attendees, but the over 300-page report will be released June 20 on the organization’s website.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Where Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves go (and what they get) when they dine out in Austin
Where Matthew McConaughey and Camila Alves go (and what they get) when they dine out in Austin

According to Camila Alves, her and Matthew McConaughey “don’t go out to eat that much.” But when they do... Bon Appétit asked “80 of the most interesting people we know,” including Alves, who founded Women of Today and has been married to McConaughey since 2012, which restaurants they know they can...
New York City customer's order instructed cook to 'please spit' on burger
New York City customer's order instructed cook to 'please spit' on burger

A New York customer will never rhapsodize about the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Queens -- especially after he noticed his receipt, which instructed the cook to “please spit “ in his burger. >> Read more trending news Curtis Mays said the sickening receipt he got from his waitress on Father’s Day caught his attention after...
DNA testing the topic of hearing in UT student Haruka Weiser’s death
DNA testing the topic of hearing in UT student Haruka Weiser’s death

DNA collected in the April 2016 killing of University of Texas student Haruka Weiser is the subject of a hearing Monday in Travis County district court. Lawyers for defendant Meechaiel Criner are expected to say that results of the test should be tossed out of the case because the testing was flawed. The hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in state...
Man shot to death in parking lot of Miami-area IHOP
Man shot to death in parking lot of Miami-area IHOP

A man was shot to death as he walked to his rental car from an International House of Pancakes in South Florida early Monday, The Miami Herald reported. >> Read more trending news  Police said the 25-year-old man, whose name has not been released, was walking to his vehicle at 3:51 a.m. after eating at the restaurant located near Miami...
JUST IN: Burnet police officer recovering after dog attack
JUST IN: Burnet police officer recovering after dog attack

A Burnet police officer shot two dogs last week after an attack that left her and another man injured. Burnet police said the officer was sent to the 700 block of South Vanderveer around 11:40 a.m. on Thursday after someone called 911 to report that a man was being attacked by three large dogs. When the officer, identified by the department as Cpl...
More Stories