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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System

The Bottom Line

Unjust: LGBTQ Youth Incarcerated in the Juvenile Justice System examines how LGBTQ youth who are incarcerated in juvenile detention and correctional facilities face bias in adjudication, and mistreatment and abuse in confinement facilities. LGBTQ youth also lack supportive services when leaving the criminal and juvenile justice systems, often forcing them back into negative interactions with law enforcement.

Given that nearly 40% of incarcerated girls in identify as LGB and 85-90% of incarcerated LGBTQ youth are youth of color, it is crucial that any effort to change the way youth in the United States engage with the juvenile justice system must consider the unique experiences of LGBTQ youth. This spotlight report highlights the experiences of LGBTQ youth incarcerated in the juvenile justice system.

This report builds off of the Unjust series released in 2016. Click here to see the other reports in the series.

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