Less than half of Americans say they’re comfortable with LGBT people
Despite increased visibility and awareness, acceptance of LGBT people in America actually decreased in 2017.
GLAAD and The Harris Poll’s fourth-annual Accelerating Acceptance report found that less than half (49%) of respondents said they were “somewhat” or “very” comfortable with queer people in different social situations, down from 53% in 2016.
It’s the first decline since the report was launched in 2014, and is in contrast to studies that have shown increased acceptance in the U.S for things like marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws.
Nearly 2,200 Americans—including 1,900 cisgender heterosexuals—were asked about their attitudes toward LGBT people—including “having LGBT members at my place of worship,” “learning my child has a lesson on LGBT history in school,” and “learning a family member is LGBT.”
That’s not the only bad news, unfortunately: 55% of LGBT respondents reported experiencing homophobic or transphobic discrimination, an increase of 11% from 2016.
And 2017 saw record highs in anti-LGBT homicides, which shot up 86%. At least 52 queer Americans, including 27 trans people, lost their lives to hate-fueled violence.
“This report puts numbers to the bias that too many LGBT Americans have recently experienced,” said GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis in a statement. “[The decrease] can be seen as a dangerous repercussion in the tenor of discourse and experience over the last year.”