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New GLAAD study reveals startling truths about Americans’ feelings on LGBT issues
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
NEW YORK, NY – GLAAD, the world’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy organization, today unveiled its second annual Accelerating Acceptance report, a survey conducted on GLAAD’s behalf by Harris Poll, which reveals a startling level of complacency and ambivalence among Americans on LGBT issues. The survey – fielded online from October 5-7, 2015 among 2,032 adults ages 18 and older – also shows growing levels of acceptance among non-LGBT Americans.
The full report is available here: /acceptance
“Complacency is the enemy of social progress,” said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. “2015 was a monumental year for the LGBT community, but marriage equality is a benchmark – not a finish line. The hard work of legislative change must go hand in hand with that which cannot be decided in a courtroom: changing hearts and minds.”
Among the survey’s key findings:
- Perhaps because marriage equality was so widely covered by the media in 2015, half (50%) of all non-LGBT Americans are now under the false and potentially dangerous impression that ‘gay people have the same rights as everybody else.’
- Further, many Americans are unconcerned by or unaware of LGBT issues. Over a quarter (27%) of non-LGBT Americans say that violence against transgender people is not a serious problem. This, despite the fact that at least 21 transgender women, mostly women of color, were murdered in the U.S. in 2015.
- Similarly, 37% of non-LGBT Americans say that homelessness among LGBT youth is not a serious problem. According to The Williams Institute at UCLA, however, approximately 40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBT.
- Roughly a third of non-LGBT Americans profess no strong opinion about important LGBT issues. Interestingly, this ambivalence appears across segments, including allies.
- Still, Americans are also growing more comfortable with LGBT people. In fact, in most situational questions surveyed (6 of 7), Americans report less discomfort with LGBT people than was reported the previous year:
% Saying They Are Very or Somewhat Uncomfortable
Seeing a same-sex couple holding hands
Learning that a family member is LGBT
Having LGBT members at your religious place of worship
Learning my doctor is LGBT
Seeing an LGBT co-worker’s wedding picture
Learning that my child’s teacher is LGBT
Learning that my child had a lesson on LGBT history in their school
The full report is available here: /acceptance
This new data builds on GLAAD’s first Accelerating Acceptance report, released in February 2015, which revealed significant levels of discomfort among non-LGBT people with their LGBT coworkers and neighbors. That report is available here: /publications/accelerating-acceptance-2016
The 2015 and 2014 surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of GLAAD.
- The 2015 survey was fielded from October 5-7, 2015 among 2,032 adults ages 18 and older. The non-LGBT sub-sample was 1,781.
- The 2014 survey was fielded from November 10-12, 2014 among 2,010 adults ages 18 and older. The non-LGBT sub-sample was 1,821.
This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Seth Adam, GLAAD’s Director of Communications, at email@example.com.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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