Intersectionality and Health Inequities for Gender Minority Blacks in the U.S

Am J Prev Med. 2020 Nov;59(5):639-647. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2020.04.013. Epub 2020 Aug 10.


Introduction: Gender minority blacks represent the intersection of multiply marginalized populations that experience severe health inequities in the U.S. However, few studies focus on the unique health experiences of this multiply disadvantaged population. This study quantifies the health inequities experienced by gender minority blacks in the U.S. using an intersectional framework.

Methods: This cross-sectional study analyzed data in 2018/2019 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, including all cisgender black, gender minority black, and gender minority white survey respondents who completed the gender identity module between 2014 and 2018. Investigators compared demographics, healthcare access, behavioral risk factors, chronic conditions, and perceived health status of gender minority blacks with those of cisgender blacks and gender minority whites.

Results: In the primary analysis of weighted survey data, gender minority blacks were more likely to report experiencing severe mental distress (AOR=1.99, 95% CI=1.14, 3.47, p=0.02), longer periods of being physically or mentally unwell (adjusted RR=1.36, 95% CI=1.17, 1.59, p<0.001), and longer periods of activity limitations owing to poor health (adjusted RR=1.53, 95% CI=1.01, 1.41, p=0.003) than cisgender blacks. In a matched analysis, gender minority blacks had worse self-reported health than both cisgender blacks (OR=1.32, 95%: CI=1.05, 1.67, p=0.02) and gender minority whites (OR=1.53, 95% CI=1.15, 2.04, p=0.003).

Conclusions: Gender minority blacks have health experiences that are distinct from those of both the cisgender black and gender minority populations with which they intersect. Health policies and programs, including data collection efforts, must specifically consider this multiply marginalized population to effectively advance health equity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*