America in the “Age of Trump” has proved to be difficult for LGBTQ people. Many members of the queer community feel both the federal government and society at large has become hostile and divisive, and the headlines of mainstream media don’t tell them any different. And now we have empirical evidence that things are difficult: In a survey conducted alongside GLAAD, Hornet has found that nearly three-fourths of gay and bisexual men believe post-Trump bullying and harassment has increased.
The last few weeks alone have offered all the anecdotal evidence we need about the queer community’s positioning in society. Earlier this week it was uncovered that Trump joked that his Vice President Mike Pence wanted to “hang all gay people.” (And Pence’s notorious anti-gay history doesn’t suggest otherwise.) Gay youth continue to be harassed and murdered in our streets. Also this week, homophobic fliers suggesting queer people commit suicide were posted on the Cleveland State University campus, the same day the school opened an LGBT center.
Hornet surveyed approximately 1,000 gay and bi men among its American user base and found that 66% report being bullied or harassed as a child or teen, 68% have witnessed anti-LGBTQ speech or harassment on social media and 67% frequently see anti-LGBTQ speech or overt harassment on social media.
Nearly three out of every four user respondents — 72% — claim post-Trump bullying and harassment of LGBTQ people has increased.
Results like those of our survey are an indication of why a day like today, #SpiritDay, is so important. Every year on the third Thursday in October, millions of people “go purple” to show solidarity against LGBTQ bullying. Begun seven years ago by high school student Brittany McMillan in response to a spike in queer suicides, #SpiritDay now sees celebrities, schools, national landmarks, corporations, media companies, sports leagues and more join together and play a role in standing against bullying.
Hornet encourages its users and readers to “go purple” today, in an effort to let marginalized queer youth know they are supported.