Imagine you and your partner are house-hunting. You have to face all the normal challenges that come along with finding a new home: time, realtors, showings, money, paperwork, frustration, more time. Now imagine being turned away from one of the houses you’re interested in just because of who you are.
Diego is a transgender1 man. He transitioned from female to male and now lives every day as the man he always knew himself to be alongside his partner, Cynthia. When the couple set out to find a new home, they were discriminated against because Diego is transgender.
Because Diego was forced to put his legal name, a female name, on housing documents and applications, when prospective landlords and realtors saw him in person, they would suddenly, unfairly question his character. The couple was once asked point blank if Diego could be “trusted.” They never heard back from most of their housing applications.
Because Diego and Cynthia lived in Arkansas—one of 31 states that doesn’t protect LGBT2 people from discrimination––they didn’t have a way to protect themselves. As Diego puts it, “In Arkansas, tenants don’t have very many rights.”
Even though it would be a sad, hard thing to do, the two even discussed living separately because of how difficult it was becoming to find a home together. After tirelessly searching for three months, the couple was only able to find a home through the good grace of one of Cynthia’s friends.
Today, Arkansas remains one of the 31 states in this country where discrimination against LGBT people is still legal. Like millions of Americans, Diego and Cynthia are not protected from discrimination because they live in Arkansas, one of 31 states that doesn’t protect its LGBT residents from being denied housing, fired, or refused service just because of who they are.
Arkansas has passed 5 laws that actively harm LGBT people.Learn more
Can be fired or denied a promotion
Can be evicted from their homes or denied housing
Can be denied service at public establishments, denied medical treatment, or even kicked out of restaurants or businesses
Arkansas’s total population
Total LGBT population
Of LGBT population raising children