Study: Up to One-Third of Straight Americans Are Uncomfortable with LGBTQ People

Study: Up to One-Third of Straight Americans Are Uncomfortable with LGBTQ People

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According to a recent study, one in three Americans say that they are uncomfortable dealing with LGBTQ situations in their own lives.

The Accelerating Acceptance study, released this year, was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of GLAAD. Researchers surveyed 2,037 adults ages 18 and older.

The poll found some bright points. For one, thing, Millennials (ages 18-34) are more comfortable identifying as LGBTQ than older generations. The study attributes this to greater social acceptance and increased media visibility. Millennials are 56% more likely to identify as LGBTQ than Generation X (35-71) and twice as likely to identify as LGBTQ as Baby Boomers (age 52-71). And 12% of Millennial respondents identified as trans or gender nonconforming.

Generally, Millennials were much more likely to identify outside of binaries like male/female and straight/gay. They were also more likely to consider themselves allies of the LGBTQ community. Overall, more people consider themselves LGBTQ allies this year (53%) than they did last year (51%).

However, the report shows limited social progress. In many instances, respondents did not show increased acceptance of LGBTQ people from last year’s survey results.

Around one-third of straight respondents said they were uncomfortable with certain LGBTQ situations. 22% said they were uncomfortable having LGBTQ members at their place of worship. A quarter said they were uncomfortable seeing an LGBTQ co-worker’s wedding picture. 28% said they would be uncomfortable to learn that their doctor is LGBTQ. 29% said they were uncomfortable seeing a same-sex couple holding hands.

Unsurprisingly, respondents got more uncomfortable with queerness when it came to their children. 28% said they wouldn’t like finding out that their child’s teacher is LGBTQ. And 34% said they would be uncomfortable if they learned their child had a lesson on LGBTQ history.

And the number of respondents classified as “resisters” (non-supporters of progress in LGBTQ rights) remained stable from last year’s number at 14%. Unsurprisingly, the majority of those resisters were older: age 52 and up. But not all old folks are bad. About 45% of people age 72 and up are “detached supporters” of LGBTQ rights — in other words, they passively support it (though they don’t actively work for it).


(Header image via William Murphy)

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