GLAAD survey reveals good and not so great news

GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance Study reveals that, though things are changing, we still have work to do!  

According to The Advocate, the study helps to provide some clarity to what many non-LGBTQ+ people believe.The seventh annual study surveyed U.S. adults in order to measure their attitudes about the LGBTQ+ community. On a positive note, it was revealed this year that more than 80% of non-LGBTQ+ Americans expect to become more familiar with trans and nonbinary people. The study also revealed that people’s understanding of gender identity and the diversity within the LGBTQ community is also increasing.

However, the data also revealed some confusion around gender identity. Despite the increase in undertanding of LGBTQ people and gender identity, it was revealed that 54% of non-LGBTQ people believe that discussions about gender identity have been further complicated by the LGBTQ community. Another 45% revealed that they are very confused about how to describe people in the LGBTQ+ community.

But one of the most troubling revelations was the increase in violence toward LGBTQ people. It was reported that 6 out of 10 LGBTQ+ people have reported discrimination due to their gender or sexual orientation, which is a 13% increase from last year.

“There shows a lot of promise and progress for acceptance, especially when it comes to understanding gender and the various identities that make up our community,” said GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Ellis, when discussing the findings from this year’s survey. 

Ellis told The Advocate that this year’s study seems to fall in the middle of previous ones, but the positive trends are indicators “that U.S. society is evolving and that the world is recognizing that.”

“This study reveals that non-LGBTQ Americans are open to various identities within our community. And it also tells us just how important media is in humanizing our community, telling our stories, and driving acceptance,” Ellis explained.

She goes on to say: “When you think about this year, it has been one of the most anti-LGBTQ legislative sessions on record, specifically against the trans and nonbinary community. And, as we always say, these laws are trying to come up with solutions for problems that don’t exist. [The laws] perpetuate a toxic climate of hate and discrimination against the community. This study peels that back and lets us see what Americans are really thinking and Americans are understanding that we are an amazing intersectional melting pot, as is our own LGBTQ community.”

It’s definitely good to see that things are changing in our society and people are beginning to understand more. However, the increase in discrimination shows we still have work to do. Let’s hope that we can continue to make progress.

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