Study: LGBT people in Rio more likely to live in poverty

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A new report shows that LGBT people in Rio de Janeiro are more likely to be poor than their heterosexual peers.

Campaigners say a lack of social and legal recognition means many LGBT Brazilians face a life of prolonged poverty.

Forty six LGBT people in Rio conducted interviews for Micro Rainbow International, a not for profit social enterprise group based in London.

None of the respondents were able to complete university studies, and half said they left school due to lack of financial means and the need to find employment to support their families and themselves.

Forty one per cent said they could not afford their living expenses, which included food, bills, transport and rent.

Over half rely on some form of support from family members or friends.

Only 39% of the respondents have jobs, most of which are low-paying jobs.

Fear of discrimination and stigmatisation on the basis of their sexuality and/or gender identity is another reason given for lack of employment opportunities.

Sex work remains the most common source of income for trans respondents.

Eighty seven per cent of the interviewees said they had been discriminated against in various public places – 61% had also experienced discrimination at school.

Sebastian Rocca, founder and CEO of Micro Rainbow International, said: “Poverty affects the LGBT community as much as the rest of the community.

“However, when poverty is combined with multiple forms of discrimination, such as gender, race, class, sexual orientation and/or gender identity, it creates a reality of socio-economic inequality which severely affects the LGBT population”.

The report was launched today at the International Human Rights Conference of World Pride in Toronto.

Brazil continues to have the highest murder rate for LGBT people in the world.