People of Color


Forty-two percent of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color, including 21 percent who identify as Latino/a, 12 percent as Black, two percent as Asian, and one percent as American Indian and Alaska Native. This is more diverse than the overall U.S. adult population, which is 60 percent white. The higher representation of people of color in LGBTQ communities is in part related to age. With increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people, younger generations are more likely to be out as LGBTQ. Younger people are also more likely to be of color, which is the main reason that a large proportion of people of color identify as LGBTQ. From service provision to movement building, there is a need to respond and adapt to a new generation in the U.S. that is more diverse than any previous generation in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

At the intersection of two marginalized identities, LGBTQ people of color often face stark disparities:

In recent years, a number of funders have collaborated on efforts to address the unique needs of men and boys of color. As with men and boys of color, the disparities faced by LGBTQ communities of color can be seen as a “canary in the coalmine”—an indicator of more widespread problems in a variety of systems. If funders can identify interventions that improve outcomes for the most vulnerable populations, such as LGBTQ communities of color, that will lead to system-wide change that will improve outcomes for all communities.

For more information on the unique needs and challenges faced by LGBTQ communities of color, we recommend these resources:

In 2018, domestic funding for LGBTQ communities of color increased by nearly $9 million for a total of $33.3 million. An increase of $5.5 million for people of color in general, $2 million for LGBTQ black communities, and $1.9 million for LGBTQ Latinx communities led to a new record high in funding for LGBTQ communities of color, when excluding OneOrlando Fund grantmaking. Still, funding for LGBTQ AAPI communities fell by 27 percent.

Forty-five percent of the funding was awarded to advance civil rights for LGBTQ communities of color and 21 percent was awarded to address HIV/AIDS.

The top ten funders awarded $22.2 million and accounted for sixty percentof all funding for LGBTQ communities of color. Foundation for a Just Society tripled the amount it awarded to communities of color in 2018, while Gilead Sciences doubled the amount its grantmaking to communities of color.


Top Ten Funders for LGBTQ Communities of Color (2018)


Funder Name Amount
1. Gilead Sciences $5,865,298
2. Foundation for a Just Society $3,562,500
3. Anonymous Donors (Anonymous) $3,040,000
4. Borealis Philanthropy $2,703,225
5. Arcus Foundation $2,543,000
6. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice $1,141,600
7. New York Women’s Foundation $885,500
8. Groundswell Fund $829,309
9. AIDS United $829,250
10. Ford Foundation $800,000
11. Laughing Gull Foundation $730,000

NOTE: Anonymous donors awarded $3,040,000 to LGBTQ commnuities of color in 2018. If included in the list above they would rank as the third  largest funder.

The top ten grant recipients of funding for LGBTQ communities of color received a total of nearly $6.1 million in 2018.


Top Ten Grant Recipients of Funding for LGBTQ Communities of Color (2018)


Organization Name Amount
1. Southerners On New Ground (SONG) $2,389,450
2. Abounding Prosperity $1,014,833
3. Third Wave Fund $792,500
4. Planned Parenthood Federation of America $734,766
5. Casa Ruby $704,782
6. Funders for LGBTQ Issues $700,000
7. Sylvia Rivera Law Project $688,000
8. Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC) – Solutions Not Punishment (SNaP) $682,000
9. Mijente Support Committee $670,000
10. Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) $628,400

For funders seeking to support work at the intersection of racial equity and LGBTQ rights, there are a number of community assets to build on:

Building on these assets, funders have several opportunities to advance racial equity and LGBTQ rights:

  • Build capacity of groups rooted in LGBT communities of color: There are dozens of organizations doing important intersectional work rooted in LGBTQ communities of color, but most are under-resourced or highly dependent on restricted government grants for HIV and health services. Funders have an opportunity to build the capacity of these grassroots groups to build out their staffing, fundraising, advocacy, and communications.
  • Support LGBTQ leaders of color: LGBTQ leaders of color are already having a visible and powerful impact in a range of movements. Funders have an opportunity to support these leaders, both through direct investment in their work and through leadership development programs.
  • Support intersectional organizing and alliances for racial justice and LGBTQ rights: A growing number of organizations and coalitions are advocating for both racial justice and LGBTQ rights in integrated, intersectional ways. Funders have an opportunity to assure that these efforts are fully resourced and sustained so as to foster meaningful long-term change on issues ranging from nondiscrimination protections to policing reform.