Bronx Resident Survey Reveals Surprising Opinions on Homosexuality

Press Release Date: 10/18/2006 Contact Information Heriberto Sanchez Soto, Executive Director Tel: (212) 563-4500

FOR IMMEDIATE REALEASE

Hispanic AIDS Forum (HAF), New York City?s leading Latino-serving HIV/AIDS health promotion organization, released results today from a Bronx resident survey on homophobia. The survey, part of HAF?s National Coming Out Celebration at Hostos Community College on Thursday, October 19th from 6 to 9pm, revealed surprising answers from a borough known to have high incidences of anti-gay hate crimes. Over 200 Bronx residents were surveyed over the course of two months to learn more about their perceptions on homosexuality. Surveys were taken at churches, storefronts and on the streets. Surprisingly, most of the respondents showed favorable reactions to sensitive questions related to family members or coworkers who identify as gay. Some of the findings include:
  • 75% agree or strongly agree that homosexuality is normal
  • 76% disagree or strongly disagree a parent should reject a child who identifies as gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender
  • 87% agree or strongly agree they would continue to receive service from an individual who identified as gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender
  • 78% disagree or strongly disagree a gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender should expect to be teased
  • 95% disagree or strongly disagree that a family member should be rejected if they identified as gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender
The complete results of the study along with a powerful declamation supporting the lives of gays and lesbians by Congressman Jose Serrano will be presented this Thursday, October 19th, at Hispanic AIDS Forum?s National Coming Out Celebration at Hostos Community College. His speach is part of an electrifying evening of moving performances and affirming recitals, which include Anthony Rodriguez and La Santa Luz Dance Company, Lisa Winter of the Bronx Lesbian and Gay Health Resource Center, and Edwin Ramoran of the Longwood Gallery at Hostos Center for Arts and Culture. Nelson Torres, HAF?s Coordinator of Prevention Services, said that even though most responses were very positive towards gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender individuals, many churches refused to participate. "I was taken a back by how many church members declined to complete the survey. They said they thought homosexuality was the devil's work and refused to participate.? Torres said, ?This is an unfortunate reminder that homophobia is still accepted and latent in our community. With any luck, our Coming Out event will change some people?s minds, support individuals who have been discriminated, and strengthen our efforts to educate the community on homophobia?s negative consequences." Hispanic AIDS Forum?s National Coming Out Celebration will be held at Hostos Community College Savoy Building-Multi-Purpose Room located at 120 E 149th Street, from 6 to 9pm. Admission is free. Hispanic AIDS Forum, offers free HIV testing, case management assistance, counseling, and other innovative services on HIV/AIDS to the Latino population of New York City. For more information, please call 212-563-4500.