Articles tagged with: Mel Green
Bent Alaska editor Mel Green will be taking a “semi-hiatus” during November 2012 to focus on her writing. This doesn’t mean complete silence — but she will be scaling back.
Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey: Final Report by Melissa S. Green was released today by the Anchorage-based nonprofit Identity on behalf of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force.
The preliminary report of a survey conducted earlier this year finds that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) residents of the Municipality of Anchorage experience significant levels of harassment, violence, and discrimination in employment, housing, education, public services, and child custody as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity or presentation. Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey: Preliminary Report by Melissa S. Green was released today by the Anchorage-based nonprofit Identity on behalf of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey was conducted in the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, from January through March 2011, with 268 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) respondents included in the final dataset. The preliminary report presents key findings from the survey on the incidence of violence, intimidation, and discrimination in employment, housing, education, child custody proceedings, and public services experienced by respondents in the Municipality of Anchorage because of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender presentation. Summary data is presented for the total study population of 268 respondents, as well as for the 50 respondents who had been resident in the Municipality of Anchorage for less than five years.
Results show that discrimination, harassment, and bias are experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual residents of the Municipality of Anchorage at levels comparable to those experienced by respondents to One in Ten, a statewide survey of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Alaskans conducted in 1985 (published in 1986), and that that discrimination, harassment, and bias are also commonly experienced by transgender residents of the Municipality of Anchorage. The 50 respondents who had lived in Anchorage less than five years reported experiencing discrimination/bias in Anchorage at only slightly lower rates than the survey population as a whole, despite of a much shorter span of time in Anchorage within which to accumulate experiences of discrimination.
More comprehensive information from the study, including methodology, complete demographic data on survey respondents, detailed analysis of the findings, and comments from survey respondents will be included in the final report (forthcoming in December 2011).
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey came about as a result of a perceived need for quantifiable data on the incidence of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the Municipality of Anchorage. It represents the first effort since the late 1980s to compile rigorous data about the incidence of sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Anchorage — and the first effort ever to document Anchorage or Alaska-specific data about discrimination and bias on the basis of gender identity and expression.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey is a collaborative project of the Alaska LGBT community and a coalition of Alaska organizations which serve the LGBT community, including Identity, Inc., the Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association (Four A’s), Alaskans Together for Equality (ATE), Equality Works, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alaska. The survey questionnaire and overall research project were designed by members of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force in consultation with Dr. Brad A. Myrstol and Khristy Parker of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. Shelby Carpenter, LGBT Public Policy Coordinator with the ACLU of Alaska during the first half of work on the survey, was project manager for survey distribution and data collection, assisted by Drew Phoenix. Dr. Myrstol conducted statistical analysis on the final dataset. The principal investigator for the study is Melissa S. Green, who prepared this report and is also writing the final report. Questions about the survey can be directed to her at email@example.com.
Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey: Preliminary Report by Melissa S. Green is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.identityinc.org/.
Here is the text of the media advisory released this morning by Identity.
For Immediate Release
Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director
Report shows discrimination against lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender Alaskans.
Anchorage, AK, Nov. 10, 2011 — The nonprofit group Identity released today preliminary results of a study conducted this year about discrimination in Anchorage’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey’s initial results indicate members of the LGBT community in Anchorage continue to experience significant levels of discrimination in areas of employment, housing, education, public services and child custody as a result of their sexual orientation or gender identity or presentation. They also experience high levels of verbal harassment and physical violence.
“Unfortunately, we know discrimination within the LGBT community continues to be a problem in Anchorage as it does in other communities across the country,” stated Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director of Identity. “The survey will help us quantify the problems we face so we can work to eliminate discrimination in our community as a whole.”
In the area of employment, 44 percent of respondents reported being harassed by employers or other employees; nearly 21 percent believed they were turned down for a job when otherwise qualified; almost 18 percent were denied a promotion and close to 15 percent said they were fired by their employer based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In housing, over 18 percent of respondents reported being harassed by a landlord or other tenants, and more than 10 percent said they were denied a housing lease, even though they were otherwise qualified, because they were LGBT.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey also shows that roughly three out of four survey respondents experienced verbal abuse, and nearly 43 percent were subjected to threats of physical violence. Further, almost 13 percent experienced property damage because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Melissa S. Green was the principal investigator for the project and authored the preliminary report released today. Green was also part of two similar research efforts in the 1980s conducted by Identity to document sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Alaska. The new study added transgender Alaskans to the survey and was conducted between January and March of this year, and involved paper and online surveys collected from 268 respondents in Anchorage who identified themselves as being LGBT. The project was designed by members of the Alaska LGBT Community Survey Task Force in consultation with Dr. Brad A. Myrstol and Khristy Parker of the Justice Center at University of Alaska Anchorage. Dr. Myrstol also assisted with statistical analysis.
Identity is an Anchorage-based, nonprofit organization founded in 1977, and provides programs supporting equality for the LGBT community and its allies. The complete report from the Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey will be released in December 2011.
Phyllis Rhodes, Executive Director
# # #
E. Ross started Bent Alaska on March 13, 2008. She looks back over all the changes that Bent Alaska has gone through since, as she hands responsibility over to a new editor.
Mel the reluctant political blogger is going to Netroots Nation after all — on full scholarship through the LGBT Netroots Connect initiative. Wanna know what she said on her scholarship application? Then read this post.
A new blogging platform, increased presence on Facebook, a Twitter feed, a new co-admin: here’s a look at some of the changes taking place at Bent Alaska.
The Anchorage LGBT Discrimination Survey, now in progress, is the first effort since the late 1980s to compile rigorous data about the incidence of sexual orientation bias and discrimination in Anchorage — and the first effort ever to document Anchorage or Alaska-specific data about discrimination and bias on the basis of gender identity. Originally published as an op-ed in the Anchorage Press on Thursday, January 27, 2011.
Two U.S. Senate candidates spoke at the Pride Conference this weekend, and Mel Green reviewed them on her blog Henkimaa:
Yesterday I attended the Alaska Pride Conference, an annual event sponsored by Identity, Inc. My main reason for attending this year came out of my involvement with the Alaska LGBT Community Survey; but I also got the opportunity to hear firsthand from two of the candidates for U.S. Senate, Frederick David Haase of the Alaska Libertarian Party and Scott McAdams of the Alaska Democratic Party. Conference organizers invited all U.S. Senate candidates, but neither Republican Party of Alaska candidates — official candidate Joe Miller and incumbent and write-in candidate Sen. Lisa Murkowski — accepted the invitation.
Which fit in pretty well with what has become obvious: Republican officials and candidates care little about the the issues of concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens. Whereas Democrats, despite sometimes spotty records, do. Thus, this year’s Pride march in Anchorage saw the enthusiastic participation of two Democratic gubernatorial candidates (Hollis French and eventual primary winner Ethan Berkowitz) and Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Diane Benson… but nary a Republican candidate was to be seen. (No Libertarians that I can recall, either.)
Mel gave credit to Frederick Haase, the Libertarian candidate, for accepting the invitation to Pride Conference. However, she was not impressed with his argument against hate crimes laws that protect our community and his reference to our “lifestyles.” Her opinion of Haase was shared by others who heard the speech and posted unfavorable comments on their Facebook pages.
When Scott McAdams stepped up to the podium, he began with the message “Vote your values, not your fears,” and gave a brief math and history lesson explaining why Lisa has very little chance of winning (similar to the Tom Begich presentation on Moore Up North.) Then McAdams turned to LGBT issues, Mel reports:
But if in fact he does win, what does Scott McAdams have to offer LGBTA voters? He told us that if he is elected, he will sign on as cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and as a cosponsor of a bill to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT). He also registered his unequivocal support for other federal legislation which advance equality under the law for LGBT citizens, such as repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA; extended to cover same-sex couples by Pres. Obama).
During the Q&A period, Mel was also impressed by his stands on other issues, like early childhood education and drug treatment for drug/alcohol-involved crimes. She concludes:
What sealed it for me was when McAdams said “Sovereignty begins with the individual. Freedom begins with the individual.” Most LGBT people spend a good part of their lives fending off the violative behavior of those who insist that we are supposed to be something other than who and what we are: attacking our sovereignty and freedom at our very cores. When McAdams said that, I knew that he & I see eye-to-eye: & that he respects, in a way I’ve seldom seen expressed by any non-LGBT political candidate, the integrity of who we are as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
Aside from that, he was also very personable, and has a great sense of humor. I really really really like this guy.
Learn more about him at his website, and also see the other three segments of the October 9 “Moore Up North” featuring an in-depth interview with him: Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4. (Part 1 was the portion with Tom Begich already [linked] above.)
I urge all LGBT people, and all our allies who care about LGBT equality, to vote Scott McAdams for the U.S. Senate. For us, and for Alaska.
Thanks to Mel for reviewing the U.S. Senate candidates at the Pride Conference. I encourage everyone to read her full post HERE.
Photo by Mel Green: Scott McAdams, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, at the Alaska Pride Conference 2010.
— by Mel Green, Crossposted from alaskacommunity.org.
In announcing the Alaska LGBT Community Survey — I call it AKQ for short — I frequently used the word “we.” “We’ve decided…,” “we’ll use the survey…,” “we aim….”
So just who are “we” — besides, of course, me?
In 1985-1986, “we” were the volunteers of Identity, Inc. which put together the survey instrument for One in Ten, administered it to LGB respondents throughout the state, tallied up the results, & wrote the report One in Ten: A Profile of Alaska’s Lesbian & Gay Community (1986).
In 1987-1989, “we” were a lot of volunteers & a few people who got some pay (I think), who contacted & interviewed respondents who had experienced violence, harassment, discrimination because they were, or were perceived to be, lesbian or gay (yes, some of our respondents were heterosexual people who were misperceived at being homosexual), who surveyed Anchorage area landlords & employers, & who compiled the information gathered from those efforts & wrote them up in Identity Reports: Sexual Orientation Bias in Alaska (1989).
Right here & now, on September 13, 2010, “we” are three people who met last Thursday & decided to do this. Let me introduce us:
- Melissa S. “Mel” Green. I was part of the “we” in both 1985-86 effort that resulted in One in Ten, of which I was principal writer; and in the 1987-1989 effort which resulted in Identity Reports, of which I was coauthor (along with Jay Brause). I’m also have my personal blog, Henkimaa.com, from whence I did a lot of blogging last year about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance AO-64, which passed the Anchorage Assembly only to be vetoed by Mayor Dan Sullivan. I’m also a 20-year staff member at the UAA Justice Center, where I’ve grown even more familiar with social science research, and developed relationships with some of the research faculty who we hope to have help from throughout our work on the current survey.
- Shelby Carpenter is the LGBT Public Policy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska… and I’ll let her tell you more about herself as she has time. [Ed: Read Shelby's introduction.]
- Barbara Soule is a longtime Alaska resident and LGBT community activist who is jumpstarting our outreach to the trans community. I’ll let you her tell you more about herself as she has time, too.
By now, you might be asking, three people?!!! Just three people are going to conduct a high quality research project covering the LGBT population of the entire state of Alaska?!!!
Well, no. Because our very first step is to bring in more people. So right now the three of us are doing a lot of work behind-the-scenes to contact people to form our Community Survey Task Force. The Task Force’s job will be defined more completely as its formed; but as I see it, it’s functions will chiefly be to:
- Revise and update the One in Ten survey questionnaire to reflect changes in society that have taken place since 1985, the need for trans-inclusiveness, and new questions/issues that we’d like to address in the survey. (And perhaps additional smaller surveys.)
- Continue to conduct outreach to the LGBT and allied community in all areas of the state, both for complete coverage of our community in all its diversity, and in particular to solicit respondents who are willing to be interviewed about instances of discrimination, harassment, violence, or other forms of bias that they have experienced because they are, or were perceived to be, trans, bisexual, gay, or lesbian.
- Coordinate distribution and administration of the survey, data entry, and analysis and writing of the report(s) of our findings.
We hope to have our first meeting of the Community Survey Task Force in late September/early October. By the necessities of geography and the inability of most people to be more than one place at one time, it may be that our first meeting can consist of only those people who can easily travel to Southcentral Alaska for an Anchorage-based meeting. But we will be working on how to make sure we can fully involve both organizations and individuals in all parts of the state.
Another task that we’re working on already is beginning our outreach to the trans community. We are committed to making AKQ — again, that’s what I’ve taken to calling the Alaska LGBT Community Survey for short — fully trans-inclusive, not only in the kinds of questions that appear in the survey — but also in participating on the Task Force in questionnaire design, administration, and analysis. All three of us are involved in some aspect of this, with Barbara and I contacting people we know in the Alaska trans community & Shelby working with national-level trans organizations and activists who have conducted research within the trans community throughout the country.
Barbara is also coordinating focus groups for members of the trans community to get input on questionnaire design. We hope to hold the first of these at the Alaska Pride Conference 2010 sponsored by Identity, Inc. to be held October 9 in Anchorage and a second one probably about a week later, also in Anchorage, for those who cannot attend the Pride Conference. We’ll also work on how we can involve transfolk in other areas of the state in our research effort.
As we continue to organize our effort, I hope soon to be able to introduce other people involved in this effort on this blog; better yet, to let them introduce themselves & add their voices to this blog, & to our overall effort to invigorate & strengthen our community statewide & advance our effort for full social and economic justice for LGBT in Alaska & nationally.
Stay tuned to our progress and news about how to get involved by subscribing to this blog, “liking” our Facebook page, and/or following our Twitter feed @alaskacommunity. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find all our contact info on our About page.