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Area LGBT Survey: Nearly Three-Fourths Have Experienced Discrimination

Benson Kua
Wikimedia Commons

The largest survey of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex adults ever conducted in Northeast Florida finds 74.5 percent of LGBTI respondents have experienced “everyday discrimination,” such as being disrespected, threatened or harassed.

Advocates say the data show that, despite marriage equality and the recent inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in Jacksonville's human rights ordinances, there is still a long way to go. 

Michael Meyers is president of the LGBT Community Fund for Northeast Florida.

“LGBT people continue to feel a lot of discrimination. That it’s just a part of the landscape," he said Wednesday on First Coast Connect

The survey results were released as police investigate the fourth shooting of a transgender woman in Jacksonville this year. Three of the victims died.  

Activists are rallying to urge police to stop misgendering victims as they investigate shootings. 

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Christian Hancock said it’s JSO’s desire to foster a good relationship with all members of the community.

“It is not an act of disrespect that we refer to the victim’s by their legal names,” he said in a statement emailed to WJCT News. “As an agency, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office determines the identification and sex of a deceased victim by using the victim’s government-issued ID or that which is determined by the medical examiner.”

However, JSO did seem to stray from that policy in an email and tweet  it sent on Wendesday in search of leads regarding the Sunday murder at the Quality Inn and Suites on Dix Ellis Trail. 

JSO identified the victim as Donald James but also said James was "transgender" and sometimes went by the names Catalina Christina, Esha, Chris or Lesha.

Melissa Ross can be reached at, 904-358-6382 or on Twitter at @MelissainJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.