Don’t be fooled by the boycotts: Most Americans want companies to support LGBTQ+ people

Silhoutte of a person making a heart with their fingers while staring at a Pride flag blowing in the wind against a blue sky
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While right-wingers have increasingly protested against school policies, civil rights, and advertising that make LGBTQ+ people feel safer and less discriminated against, a recently released study found that large majorities of non-queer Americans actually support these.

The “Accelerating Acceptance” study, released by the LGBTQ+ media monitoring organization GLAAD, surveyed over 2,500 adults who don’t identify as LGBTQ+. The survey found that 96% of survey respondents believe that schools should be safe places for LGBTQ+ students, 91% believe that LGBTQ+ people should live a life free from discrimination, 84% support equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, and 70% believe companies should publicly support the LGBTQ+ community through inclusive policies, advertising, and sponsorships.

The statistics not only equal an “all-time high” of support for LGBTQ+ equal rights, they also indicate that majorities of Americans disagree with a loud minority of right-wing figures who have targeted school districts, medical professionals, and companies that seek to uplift LGBTQ+ identities.

Republican politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Rep. George Santos (NY), Rep. Lauren Boebert (CO), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former President Donald Trump have all blasted trans-inclusive educational policies, gender-affirming healthcare, and queer-inclusive marketing as “woke indoctrination” that “sexualizes” children.

This year alone, Republicans have introduced 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills. Tweets referring to LGBTQ+ people as child sex abusers increased 406% in April, a month after DeSantis signed his state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, GLAAD’s report said. In 2022, LGBTQ+ people reported more incidents of hate-based harassment than any other group, showing a connection between hate speech, anti-queer legislation, and real-world violence, the report added.

“The hopeful news is that we have decades of work to show that fair and accurate journalism, visibility in media, and corporate responsibility all have an enormous role to play,” GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis wrote in her organization’s report.

“When people are exposed to LGBTQ people and experiences in media it changes hearts and minds and shifts culture and sentiment,” she added.

The study also found that between 63 to 80% of non-queer Americans are comfortable with having LGBTQ+ identified family members, co-workers, congregants, and healthcare providers, as well as seeing LGBTQ+ people in advertisements.

Tellingly, the study also found that only 28% of respondents said they personally knew a trans person. This lack of acquaintance may contribute to anti-trans attitudes and ignorance about trans community needs.

However, respondents also said that exposure to the LGBTQ+ community in media made them 30% more likely to feel familiar with LGBTQ+ people overall, suggesting that anti-trans attitudes can be softened by increasing the visibility of trans people in real-world spaces and media.

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