A new survey conducted by GLAAD found that over 28% more LGBTQ people say they have experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity compared to the same survey last year.
GLAAD released the results of its Accelerating Acceptance Study, a yearly survey of both LGBTQ and cishet people. The survey was conducted this past January and involved 2517 U.S. adults.
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The survey found that that 43% of non-LGBTQ people believe that gender is not limited to female and male, up from 38% last year.
54% of cishet people said that LGBTQ people make interactions around gender more complicated and 45% said that they were “confused” by all the different terms used to describe LGBTQ people.
The survey asked non-LGBTQ people if they would be uncomfortable in situations involving LGBTQ people, like having LGBTQ people in their church, having an LGBTQ doctor, or seeing a same-sex couple holding hands. About 30% of non-LGBTQ people said that they would be “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable in all of these situations, around the same results as last year. 25% said they would be uncomfortable seeing a gay or lesbian co-worker’s wedding photos.
Only “learning their child has a lesson on LGBTQ history in school” was much higher at 37%.
The survey also asked LGBTQ people if they experienced discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; 46% said yes in the 2020 survey while 59% said yes in the 2021 survey, a 28% increase.
Part of the change may be related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election cycle. January 2020 was just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses and schools in the U.S., and was just at the start of the primary elections. January 2021 was just after the 2020 elections and during the Capitol Insurrection and just before the vaccines became widely available.
“An alarming result from the poll shows that LGBTQ individuals say they’ve experienced discrimination at higher levels in 2021 than last year,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis.
She noted that the discrimination reported in January turned into legislation throughout the year.
“A dangerous rhetorical climate continues in statehouses across the country as legislatures seek to prevent transgender children from playing on school sports teams or denying them access to live-saving healthcare as a means of demonizing transgender people,” she said.