Breaking: Stereotypes

According to an article by Sabrina Tavernise in the New York Times, from a couple of days ago, Census Bureau numbers have been crunched and some surprising facts have been generated.  If you don’t have a Times account, here’s a mirror at the Seattle Times.

The American South hosts more gay families than any other region.  The largest population of same-sex couples with children is in San Antonio, with Jacksonville, FL, not far behind.

The data was mined by Gary Gates at UCLA.  The article itself focuses mostly on Jacksonville.

Gay couples in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are more likely to be raising children than their counterparts on the West Coast, in New York and in New England.

And an important item:  these families defy stereotypes.  The adults in those families tend most often to be African American women and Latinas, who often had married and had children before coming out.

People grew up in church, so a lot of us lived in shame.  What did we do?  We wandered around lost.  We married men, and then couldn’t understand why every night we had a headache.

–Darlene Maffett, 43, Jacksonville

Darlene had two children in 8 years of marriage.

Here’s an interesting tidbit on the men’s side:  gay men who have children tend to do so 3 years earlier than heterosexual men.

The Census Bureau estimated in 2009 that there were 581,000 same-sex couples in the US.  The Bureau does not count single gays and lesbians.

About a third of all lesbians (one might presume that this refers to lesbians in relationships…the article is unclear) are parents.  One-fifth of gay men are parents.  This is despite the fact that their children are some of the most at risk, with fewer legal protections and less health insurance than the children of heterosexual couples.

About 32% of same-sex couples in Jacksonville have children, compared to 34% in San Antonio.

Often the children are forced into the closet at school, for fear of their parents being identified and losing their employment.

Even when employers agree to cover domestic partners, those couples pay higher taxes, because without federal recognition of their status, health coverage is considered income and is taxable. Until recently, Florida was one of a handful of states that expressly prohibited adoption by gay couples.

Money is often an immediate problem.

I’m one check away from being on welfare.

–Ty Francis, a bank customer-service worker with a sharp sense of humor, who supports six children together with her partner, Rosalyn Cooley, a health-care worker.

For those of us ion the Northeast, I found this article to be of some interest, from 2008:

Gay Families Find the Bronx Is a Place to Call Home.  On the other hand, data I discovered shows that in 2008, Manhattan led all NYC boroughs in the sheer number of same-sex families, with about three times the number in the Bronx (I found that link at work, but am struggling to locate it now that I am at home).

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    • Robyn on January 22, 2011 at 12:02 am
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    …with only one day of teaching and I’m nearly exhausted.  Today’s extra snow didn’t help.

    But I managed to cobble this together.  

  1. and much appreciated.

    I understand Tuesday we get more snow.

    • TMC on January 22, 2011 at 2:54 am

    on same sex families in the South early this AM.

    I would imagine that like many couples, gay couples with children would migrate to the other boroughs and the Bronx is very convenient for getting into Manhattan.

    I had a Lesbian couple as neighbors for years, they were both teachers. They bought the house when they adopted.

  2. I just saw in one of the responses to my earlier comments (back on December 31st) that you were going in for surgery soon.

    I do hope that it was successful and that you are on the road to a full and complete recovery.  

    Not really a surprise about the Deep South.  There was a study done a few years ago at the University of Georgia in Athens in which “normal” males (as defined by psychological tests and interviews) were fitted with a plethysmograph (which measures male sexual arousal) and then shown depictions of sexual acts of several types:  male-female, male-male and female-female.

    Each subject was also given a test to measure the extent to which each participant was homophobic. They discovered that those who were the most homophobic were also the most likely to arouse to depictions of same-gender sexual acts. I suppose this was a surprise to quite a few people.

    Perhaps there is a silver lining of sorts in the post-Citizens United world, if that is possible. The Republicans no longer need the votes of the anti-LGBT crowd or the anti-drug zombies. They may allow Obama a few victories (such as the repeal of DADT) to “prove” his status as a Democrat, and maybe grudgingly allow steps in the direction of legalizing marijuana for the same reason.  

    That said, I fear that the only freedoms that will survive longer term are those that don’t interfere with the continued ransacking of the middle and lower classes for the benefit of the privileged few.

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