Sexual Identities and Reactions to Black Lives Matter

Eric Swank, Breanne Fahs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: This study traced sexuality differences in Black Lives Matter (BLM) approval before using theories of “political distinctiveness” to explain why sexuality differences occurred. Methods: A random sample of 3489 US adults completed the 2016 wave of the American National Election Survey (ANES) Time Series project. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions assessed differences in BLM support by reported sexual identity when adjusting for possibly relevant covariates. Results: Lesbians, gays, and bisexuals (LGB) backed BLM more than heterosexuals. Increased LGB support of BLM was driven by sexuality differences in racial backgrounds, marital statuses, perceptions of police biases, approval of Black empowerment, authoritarianism, and emotional bonds to people of color. Conclusions: Sexual identities shape reactions to antiracist social movements. LGB alignment with BLM is partly due to sexual discrepancies in demographic qualities, group memberships, and the way sexual identities alter an awareness of social biases. Policy Implications: Greater LGB liberalism, plus the queer friendly nature of BLM, offers greater prospects in the creation and maintenance of intersectional social justice movements that seek to improve the lives of racial and sexual minorities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1954-1967
Number of pages14
JournalSexuality Research and Social Policy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Activism
  • Antiracism
  • Black lives matter
  • Sexual identity
  • Social movements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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