And What's This About Pleasant Ridge?

BY CHARLES ALEXANDER

Did you know that 31 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. describe themselves as "not 100 percent heterosexual?" Well, they do.

Or that the state with the highest proportion of same-sex couples raising children is Mississippi? Or, that North Carolina's anti-trans law could cost the state over $5 billion per year? That's right. Over $5 billion.

Or that 13 countries impose the death penalty for same-sex activity?" Thank heaven, the U.S. is not one of them. (So far.)

These and other fascinating, little known, curious -- frequently disturbing -- facts, figures and data are available for convenient review and reference in "LGBTQ STATS: Queer People by the Numbers" by authors/researchers David Deschamps and Bennett Singer. (The New Press, 2017; $17.95)

Data included in the LGBTQ STATS is exceptionally comprehensive, with several hundreds of topics and subtopics of information (over 1,000 Index items listed) in the book's 340 soft-cover pages.

A first edition of the STATS appeared in 1993. According to Deschamps and Singer, the task of collecting was daunting, requiring time-consuming research verification, and evaluation of data relevancy.

"We spent months at various libraries pouring through journals and databases and managed to produce an 80-page almanac. Nearly 25 years later, creating the new edition presented a different challenge: the explosion of information on LGBTQ issues meant we had literally thousands of sources from which to draw data. Statistics are current as of summer 2016."

A sampling - to coincide with Pride Month - can only hint at the rich diversity and impact of our worldwide rainbow display. Consider the following selections.

LGBT Pride Marches - The first took place in New York City on June 28, 1970, the year following the Stonewall Riots. More than 2,000 celebrants participated. On May 25, 1991, the District of Columbia's African American lesbian and gay community sponsored the first such march. Thirty other similar black LGBT marches now take place throughout the world. In 2016, 400 worldwide LGBT pride events took place.

The T - The most frequently cited numerical estimate of the trans population in the U.S. is 700,000 and 15 million worldwide.

AIDS - More than 1.2 million people are affected; 57 percent are gay or bisexual men; of gay and bisexuals diagnosed with HIV in 2014, 38 percent were African American.

World - According to the International L/G Associates, sexual activity between consenting adults of the same gender is legal in 118 countries, including 19 nations in Africa (61 percent of these counties belonging to UN); 69 countries and 85 political entities have some form of anti-discrimination laws; 34 countries and 65 political entities recognize same-sex unions. Seventeen countries and 28 political entities recognize adoptions.

Politics - In 1980, there were five openly LGBT elected officials in the U.S. By 2012, LGBTQ political leaders had been elected to office in every one of our 50 states, and more than 450 openly LGBTQ elected officials now serve across the nation.

The first out LGBT person elected to public office in (1974) was Kathy Kozachenko, to a seat on the Ann Arbor City Council. The first openly gay African American elected was to the Albany NY Common Council (1989)

Workplace - Corporations investing in LGBT issues in 2014 are: Arcus Foundation ($17 million); Ford Foundation ($15.4 million); Gill Foundation ($7 million); Open Society ($6.5 million); Gilead Sciences ($6.1million).

Population - According to the Gallup Poll 2012, the highest percentage of LGBT persons tallies: District of Columbia (10 percent); Hawaii (5.1 percent); Vermont (4.9 percent); Oregon (4.9 percent), Maine (4.8 percent); Lowest: (Utah 2.7 percent); Tennessee (2.6 percent); Mississippi (2.6 percent); Montana (2.6 percent), and North Dakota (1.7 percent).

Conversion Therapy (2013) - From an initial reparative therapy report of 400 men and women: nine in ten said the experience harmed them; 3/4 terminated because it didn't work; 20 percent because they had a nervous breakdown

Military - LGB people can serve openly in the military in 49 countries. Trans people can serve in the military in 19 countries, including Canada, Sweden, United Kingdom and the U.S. Also: in 2013, Russia enacted its now on-going ban on LGBT propaganda.

Neighborhoods - According to a 2015 study of 115,000 members of Planet Romeo -- an international social network for GBT men - their Gay Happiness Index of 127 countries, rated Iceland tops (don't ask why), followed by Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Uruguay, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, and twenty-sixth on the Planet Romeo list, the U.S. Bottom of the heap is Uganda (anti-gay hate mongered there by three visiting America evangelicals in 2009).

Oh, yes! That LGBT STATS about Pleasant Ridge in Michigan: According to the 2010 census, sent once per decade to every U.S. household, the top 10 cities with the highest number of same-sex couples per 1,000 people are: #1 - Provincetown, Massachussetts (where else!), and #7 - Pleasant Ridge, Michigan. (Go figure!)


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