Support For LGBTQs Falls Among Young Americans

A rainbow flag held above the heads of young people in a crowd
(image via pexels/RosemaryKetchum)

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, today announced the findings of its fifth annual Accelerating Acceptance Index, a national survey among U.S. adults conducted on GLAAD’s behalf by The Harris Poll. 

The aim of the survey was to gauge Americans’ attitudes towards LGBTQ people.

Participants in the poll where queried on how comfortable they would feel in 7 scenarios:

• Learning a family member is LGBT
• Learning my doctor is LGBT
• Having LGBT members at my place of worship
• Seeing a LGBT co-worker’s wedding picture
• Having my child placed in a class with a LGBT teacher
• Seeing a same-sex couple holding hands
• Learning my child has a lesson on LGBT history in school

The percentage of straight adults reporting being ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ comfortable with LGBTQ people across those situations remained the same (49%) as last year after a notable 4 point decline from 2017 to 2018 (53% ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ comfortable in the 2017 report versus 49% in the 2018 report).

However, this year’s Index found the number of young Americans ages 18-34 who are comfortable across all seven scenarios dropped 8 points from 53 percent to 45 percent; over the past two years, support has fallen from 63% to 45 percent.

Researchers noted the significant erosion is being driven by females ages 18-34, where comfort levels fell from 64 percent last year to 52 percent this year.

The results beg the question: What changed over the past two years?  Perhaps the occupant of the Oval Office?

John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll acknowledged that, typically, “Younger Americans can be counted on to advocate for issues like gender equality, immigration and climate change.”

“So it is surprising to see a notable erosion of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which counters many of the assumptions we make about their values and beliefs,” added Gerzema. “In this toxic age, tolerance – even among youth – now seems to be parsed out.”

Also from the report:

• Reported hate crimes in America rose 17%  last year, the third consecutive year that such crimes increased, according to data released by the FBI in 2018.

• The majority of non-LGBTQ Americans (80%) support equal rights for the LGBTQ community. This particular statistic has been consistent since 2016.

Head over to GLAAD to read the full report here.

What do you think?