Support for the LGBTQ community among younger Americans has sadly decreased, according to GLAAD’s 2019 Accelerating Acceptance Report.
The report asked adults how they felt about things like seeing a gay couple holding hands, or finding out a relative is lesbian, or knowing that their child had an LGBTQ teacher. The results focused on what non-LGBTQ Americans said in those situations.
The results are all kinds of depressing.
[The survey] found that non-LGBTQ adults who said they felt “very” or “somewhat” comfortable in all of those scenarios was 49%, reflecting no change from 2018. For the 18 to 34 demographic, however, that percentage fell from 53% to 45%.
As GLAAD representatives pointed out, 2019 marks the second year in a row that LGBTQ acceptance among Americans aged 18 to 34 has dropped. In 2017, that figure was at 63%. The most striking drop in acceptance appeared among young women, whose comfort level dropped from 64% last year to 52% in the newly published report.
Just look at the “uncomfortable” levels among people 18-34:
It’s unbelievable that at least a third of Millennials still feel icky about the idea of LGBTQ teachers, family members, doctors… or even the idea of their kids learning LGBTQ history.
I’m sure the Trump administration is pleased. What else can you expect from a Republican Party that bends over backwards to ban transgender soldiers from the military or protect the rights of business owners to discriminate against gay couples? When bashing LGBTQ people is popular among an entire political party, it’s no wonder some of that trickles into the broader culture.
At the same time, more people than ever know someone — a friend or a relative — who is LGBTQ. There are more LGBTQ characters and representation in the media than ever before. And, generally speaking, younger generations tend to be more progressive than their predecessors.
So while this survey report is disappointing, all hope is not yet lost. If the next election leads to more progressives in office who openly support LGBTQ rights and call attention to why that’s so important, we could see these numbers turn around in a hurry. It’s not a given, though.
(Image via Shutterstock)