Coming out of the Concrete Closet: A Report on Black & Pink's National LGBTQ Prisoner Survey
Date:  10-21-2016

Survey produced the "largest ever dataset available on the experiences of LGBTQ prisoners in the country"
The following is the Introduction from the Black and Pink report Coming out of the Concrete Closet:

During the latter months of 2014, Black & Pink, an open family of LGBTQ prisoners and “free world” allies, conducted a survey of our prisoner membership. Nearly 1,200 prisoners responded to our 133?question survey, producing the largest ever dataset available on the experiences of LGBTQ prisoners in the country. The intent of this survey was to get some truth out from behind prison walls about the experiences of LBGTQ prisoners in the United States. Our report aims to share that truth by elevating prisoner voices, stories, and leadership to inspire immediate collective action.

The report is divided into eight sections: (1) demographics; (2) pretrial detention, courts, bail, sentencing and parole; (3) sexuality, gender identity, and sexual activity; (4) solitary confinement; (5) discrimination and violence; (6) healthcare; (7) relationships and community; and (8) programs. Questions in each section have been analyzed in terms of group responses and also disaggregated by race, gender/sexuality, and mental illness diagnosis. Given that white supremacy, transmisogyny, and criminalization of mental illness are fundamental aspects of the prison industrial complex, it is unsurprising to find differences, disparities, or inequities represented by these identity markers in many places throughout the report.

This report is intended for many audiences. First, its findings were made possible by the prisoner members who took the time to fill out the survey and, as such, this report is very much intended for them. Second, we hope that this report can be a tool for advocates resisting the harm of the prison industrial complex, whether for LGBTQ? specific organizing efforts or to provide useful information regarding specific LGBTQ concerns to general anti? prison organizers. Third, this report is intended for policy makers and policy advocates. The information provided in these pages highlights the disproportionate violence experienced by LGBTQ prisoners and we have provided many recommendations to alleviate this suffering. As one respondent wrote, “Because I have participated in advocacy work my whole life I have found that the best professional or experts are those who are living the struggle. So they are the best to find solutions.” Policy makers are encouraged to move forward on these recommendations, which are based on the knowledge and experiences of LGBTQ prisoners themselves. Finally, this report is intended for well?resourced LGBTQ organizations. Too often those most marginalized in LGBTQ communities are forgotten, or intentionally ignored, in LGBTQ justice campaigns. This report provides the necessary information to take the next step in prioritizing prisoner voices in larger efforts towards liberation.

Read the full report here.