Knowledge is power.

a LOCAL+global Perspective

The LGBT Institute’s research strategy creates a needed pipeline that connects academics to advocates in order to move from research to action. Our work helps create relevant message frames, increases capacity of LGBT and allied organizations working on intersecting issues, and fosters conversations and intelligent dialogue to advance LGBT rights.

advancing thought leadership & policy studies 

Advancing LGBT equality requires policies that reflect and support LGBT populations. The problem, especially in the South, is that the research needed to explore these critical issues to advance LGBT rights is not often funded. In fact, less than 2% of national LGBT funding went to research in the South compared to 9% nationally. This means that our stories are not being told. Our research and thought leadership are important ways we can tell our stories and dismantle narratives and systems that promote discrimination.

Over the next several years, the LGBT Institute will focus on three main areas: 1) Education and Employment, 2) Public Health and Wellness, and 3) Criminal Justice and Safety. The Institute will also conduct gap studies of under-represented issues and populations, develop research briefs, and create the first longitudinal study of LGBT people in the U.S. South. We will also conduct global LGBT studies with partnering universities and organizations.


The Institute will host an annual symposium dedicated to LGBT civil and human rights scholarship with a specific focus on intersectional research. It will also be a time for networking among academics and advocates, helping enhance coordination and communication to maximize impact.

Scholars & Research fellows

The LGBT Institute’s research partnership with Georgia State University features experienced scholars who coordinate the Institute’s research initiatives. Research Fellows, with support from key program partners and subject matter experts, also provide technical support and help develop our annual symposium dedicated to LGBT scholarship.



We know that compared to all LGBT funding, a small percentage went towards research in the South. The Institute wants to help fill this gap by working with local, state, and regional partners to provide a longitudinal survey that organizations can use to make their case for policy initiatives, funding, and support.

This survey will provide baseline data to measure against as the years move forward. Our goal is to create a survey that helps shine a spotlight on issues that are not often talked about, in particular the experiences of LGBT people of color and those at the intersections of identities. 

Research Briefs

Utilizing data from our Southern Survey, we will create research briefs that dive deeper into the Institute’s three areas of focus: criminal justice and safety, public health and wellness, and education and employment.

The briefs will be used tell the stories of those least likely to have access to these systems, better understand the linkage between them, and recommend how to dismantle discrimination within these systems to help those most vulnerable. 

Gap Studies

 Our gap studies originate from our stakeholder group meetings. These studies, are community-based participatory research initiatives that allow us to focus on underrepresented populations.

These gap studies cover a range of topics and our survey base is focused primarily in the Atlanta area. Gap studies are often conducted with the help of a community-based organization. Identified gap studies include: A study on black gay men, transgender housing, and LGBT long-term elder care.  

Get Involved

There are a number of ways to get involved with the LGBT Institute Research Initiatives:

Stakeholder Groups

The Institute’s Stakeholder Groups include community members, activists, academics, artists, and others who are interested in providing their insights and support to develop potential questions for future surveys, identify emergent community topics, and prioritize critical gap studies that should be performed. Our stakeholder groups are based on our three areas of focus: 1) Education and Employment, 2) Public Health and Wellness, and 3) Criminal Justice and Safety.

Join or sign-up for updates

Research Portal

If you have research news or scholarly articles you feel we should include, please let us know by adding it to our research portal. After review, we may publish it under “Research from the Field” or use it as reference as we broaden and deepen the scope of our work.

Submit research

Research Panel

If you’re interested in participating in some of our research surveys and questionnaires, please add your name and email so we can involve you in this important work!

Join our Research Panel


The LGBT Institute appreciates the work of other institutes, scholars, and advocates. We gain a deeper understanding of our own work by knowing what research has been conducted, ensuring our work builds upon what has come before, expanding our collective insight. To that end, we will post scholarly articles, briefs, and research news from the field that may be helpful to you and your work.