Skewed LGBT statistics are driving the narrative.
Addressing the way the liberal media reports on the lifestyle conditions and relative happiness of minority groups requires a lot of unpacking. In almost every case the very first hurdle is one of semantics and assumptions. The Left, for example, assumes poverty rather than sees it as a temporary condition. The Left assumes discrimination and merely correlates measurable consequences attributed to it. Most importantly, the Left assumes government, and positions all current problems in relation to how the government must be more involved. When reporting on LGBT issues, these assumptions create a perfect storm of narrative and drama.
A recent survey conducted by the Center for American Progress has begun shaping the narrative around LGBT well-being and equality within liberal media circles. I discussed in some depth why the survey’s original claim that 1 in 4 LGBT experienced discrimination in 2016 was irrational based on the way the survey was conducted previously. The survey was fairly all-inclusive in terms of the impact on the daily lives of the LGBT members it spoke to and thus is beginning to provide fertile ground for even more extreme claims.
One such claim became the foundation of an NBC News article titled: LGBTQ Community Would Be ‘Hard Hit’ by Trump’s 2018 Budget. Brooke Sopelsa, managing editor of NCB Out, spoke with the associate director of LGBT research at the Center for American Progress, Sharita Gruberg, about the consequences of President Trump’s proposed budget. Gruberg stated: "And because LGBT people face high rates of discrimination that fuels unemployment, poverty and uninsurance, they're going to be particularly hard hit by these cuts to essential programs." Stephen Forssell, director of the Graduate Program in LGBT Health Policy and Practice at George Washington University, said the overall message of Trump's budget proposal is "it's open season on marginalized populations."
Neither of these statements is rational. But the underlying assumption being made here is "marginalized populations" are heavily dependent on government aid in order to survive and therefore any attempt to balance the budget will directly harm them. It is simply assumed that restructuring Medicaid’s budget “…will be detrimental to the ability of people living with HIV to get the health care they need to survive." for example. While, as Ben Shapiro reasons, “…Trump’s budget would allow states to add work requirements to entitlement programs and bar funding to illegal immigrants through federal tax credits.” while articulating that actual savings is unlikely. The Left and the Right are viewing two radically different outcomes and the Left is validating its own fears and paranoia as a result.
Here are some of the statistics Sopelsa provides us:
Here are some other statistics that may help shed some light:
Assumptions can be made using any one, or combination of, these numbers. You could speculate that due to the high smoking rate (smokers are less likely to be hired and earn less money) and drinking concerns of LGBT, employment sustainability and access would be limited solely on those two factors. You could argue that high mental illness coupled with high drug abuse contributes to irrational, unhealthy decision-making which, naturally, impacts work and social life. Every article cited chooses to assume the underlying cause of all of the above-mentioned problems comes solely from "discrimination and hate." What is ignored, however, is the roughly 75% of LGBT who seem to be doing just fine.
While it seems unreasonable that being LGBT would make it difficult to find enough to eat, assuming this is true it in no way implies an anti-LGBT root. It is far more likely that there is a large amount of crossover between those abusing drugs and alcohol, suffering from mental illness, and other forms of abuse from partners and relying on government resources and LGBT organizations for survival. It is this population that skews the surveys. LGBT related surveys rarely attribute co-factors into their results, tending to simply ask about one particularly negative scenario or feeling and then reporting the numbers.
The population that should be researched is the much larger number of average, everyday LGBT that live their lives without any of these concerns. LGBT that do not abuse drugs and alcohol, are responsible adults, law-abiding, and concerned more with their kids or mortgages, represent life for LGBT in America far more accurately. To simply assert that 25% of the LGBT population provides insight into the overall experience of LGBT in America is absurd, especially when ignoring the obvious co-factors.
While LGBT tend to argue that it is the result of discrimination, harassment and generalized "hate" that causes these profound societal problems, they never address how it is that most LGBT, who must be experiencing the same discrimination, harassment, and hate, build perfectly functional and productive lives. How does one gay person manage their education and finances, maintain good health, and become an active part of society while another becomes a sex worker, drug abuser trapped in poverty? The answer has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that they are both gay.
Interestingly, gay male couples have consistently made more money than straight married couples with gay men earning an average of $176,000 a year. Gay male couples with children earn an average of $275,000. Gay men are also more highly educated. Somehow, we are to believe that being gay makes one more likely to experience discrimination, be denied promotions, or make as much as their straight counterparts.
Medicaid should be handled by the states and it is perfectly reasonable for each state to determine how to best provide these services. There is no specific cut to LGBT people receiving Medicaid and restructuring the budget in no way means people will be denied coverage if they need it. HIV care is handled by the Ryan White Foundation as well as Medicaid, but to pretend that any cuts to Medicaid would deny LGBT access to HIV care is unfounded speculation. In my personal experience doctors will go out of their way to ensure patients have access to the medications they need regardless of payment ability for as long as they can. This is a cruel scare-tactic with no real foundation.
Truth be told what we are seeing here is a population of LGBT Americans dependent on the government. We are also seeing a population of LGBT Americans addicted to drugs and alcohol, suffering from mental illness, engaging in extremely risky lifestyle behaviors, and violently attacking their partners. It is reasonable to see the overlap of these two populations and understand why dismissal of responsibility alongside continued demands for more government involvement will only exaggerate the problem.
What is not apparent, however, is that any of these things have to do with being LGBT or the larger social acceptance of LGBT. With the vast majority of LGBT never experiencing anything close to discrimination, harassment, or hate in our everyday lives, it should matter to us that our media report such misleading and fear-mongering articles. Why is it so important for them to have a population afraid, paranoid, and fighting imaginary demons while ignoring the very real demons within the community itself?
Finally, why isn’t the largely wealthy LGBT community contributing to charities designed to help people escape sex work, drug abuse, abusive relationships, and build meaningful, productive lives in society? All the anti-LGBT discrimination laws, protections, and proclamations will be meaningless if a person cannot obtain a job because of drug use or prostitution. Allowing a drug user to blame society doesn’t help anyone either. Straight people are not the biggest threat to the LGBT community; LGBT people themselves are. Nothing will improve for that 25% until this is recognized and acted upon.
Just a gaggle of people from all over who have similar interests and loud opinions mixed with a dose of humor. We met on Twitter.