People of Color


Thirty-nine percent of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color, including 15 percent who identify as Latinx, 11 percent as Black, two percent as Asian Pacific Islander, and one percent as Native American. This is more diverse than the overall U.S. adult population, which is 65 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 two-thirds of 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 $3,281,332
2. Borealis Philanthropy $1,434,950
3. Arcus Foundation $1,157,500
4. Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice $942,600
5. Groundswell Fund $746,000
6. New York Women’s Foundation $737,000
7. Foundation for a Just Society $525,000
8. Tides Foundation $493,000
9. AIDS United $449,750
10. Third Wave Fund $414,954

NOTE: Anonymous donors awarded $1,060,000 to LGBTQ commnuities of color in 2018. If included in the list above they would rank as the fourth 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. Casa Ruby $1,040,172
2. Sylvia Rivera Law Project $955,500
3. Planned Parenthood Federation of America $734,766
4. Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC) – Solutions Not Punishment (SNaP) $682,000
5. Justice Now – Transgender, Gender Variant, and Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP) $637,250
6. Audre Lorde Project (ALP) $629,101
7. Racial Justice Action Center (RJAC) $541,000
8. Trans Queer Pueblo $351,000
9. Make the Road NY $300,000
10. AIDS Action Baltimore $284,482

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.