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Survey aimed at women who partner with other women launches

Garnering 5,200 respondents to date, this unique effort is led by veteran queer, lesbian, bi, trans, nonbinary, researchers and activists

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(Graphic courtesy of the National LGBTQ+ Women*s Community Survey)

NEW YORK – The National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey recently launched a community-based research and organizing effort to learn from the experiences of women who partner with other women and gather groundbreaking data. 

Garnering 5,200 respondents to date, this unique effort is led by veteran queer, lesbian, bi, trans, nonbinary, researchers and activists.  The survey is designed to discover all we know and do not know about the life experience of LGBTQ+ women who partner with women.  Aiming for 20,000 participants, the study will be in the field until December 15, 2021.

Comprised of more than 100 questions, the project team seeks a holistic understanding of how LGBTQ+ women self-identify, what they experience, and what it is like to live as a LGBTQ+ woman now, in 2021. 

The initiative’s goal is to ensure that LGBTQ+ women who partner with women are better understood across a vibrant range of genders, ages, races, and sexual and material experiences. The research effort aims to highlight and interject issues affecting LGBTQ+ women who partner with other women in the policy and service agendas of queer and social justice organizations.

Justice Work, the think-tank and action lab led by former National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director Urvashi Vaid, organized the survey project over the past three years, recruiting a team led by Research Director Dr. Jaime Grant whose ground-breaking work includes the National Transgender Discrimination Study (2011).

The team includes Principal Investigator Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell, Emory University, Dr. Carla Sutherland, an international and domestic researcher in social policy and an experienced advisory team of leading LGBTQ+ activists, scholars and researchers.

The Survey was designed through many workshops, conversations, social media outreach and community partnerships with LGBTQ+ organizations to develop a vehicle that allowed the team to gain a better understanding of  LGBTQ+ women’s life experiences in order to ensure that community organizations, healthcare systems, and rights organizations can better serve them, bringing invisible challenges and strengths to light.

“Existing research about LGBTQ+ women excludes so many of us because it’s often centered in sexual behavior rather than identity,” said Dr. Grant, Research Director of the survey. “We wanted people to see the full scope of our community — all of us who did, have or do identify as women and/or have partnered with women. Hence, our study has deep, community-centered questions about identity, so that we can see people in all their nuances.  We want to be able to report on what’s happening in the  collective as well as point out specific vulnerabilities” 

Urvashi Vaid at the Vaid Group noted: “Queer women’s lives are so varied and plural. We want to invite all women who have partnered with other women to share their experience of family, work, life, identity, gender, race, community, discrimination and resilience, and much more. Our goal is to bring forward real life experience to inform policy change, service delivery and action to support  LGBTQ+ women.”

Dr. Alyasah Ali Sewell, Associate Professor of Sociology at Emory University, serves at the Principal Investigator and data expert on the project, which is being hosted by Emory.  Dr. Sewell, whose work has focused on race and policing, notes: “We don’t want just the largest sample of LGBTQ+ women’s experiences – we need a truly representative sample.  We intend to reach into LGBTQ+ women’s communities that are largely unseen or dismissed.”

The survey is distributed online, available in English and Spanish, and is for anyone who has identified as an LGBTQ+ woman who partners with women at any point in their lives. The survey is also available to distribute to community groups, social networks, book groups, faith communities, sports leagues, support groups, and institutions.

(La encuesta se distribuye en línea, está disponible en inglés y español, y es para cualquier persona que se haya identificado como una mujer LGBTQ + que se asocia con mujeres en cualquier momento de sus vidas. La encuesta también está disponible para distribuir a grupos comunitarios, redes sociales, grupos de libros, comunidades religiosas, ligas deportivas, grupos de apoyo e instituciones.)

All data gathered is completely anonymous and confidential. It is available to take at https://www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org

(Todos los datos recopilados son completamente anónimos y confidenciales. Está disponible para tomar en https://www.lgbtqwomensurvey.org)

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