What You Think

New Poll of LGBTs Shows Us Optimistic — And Stigmatized

The Pew Research Center has released the results of the first-ever major survey of LGBT Americans, and there’s cause to be optimistic. Or depressed, depending on what results you look at.

Fully 92% of the 1,197 people who participated in the survey say that things are better than they were a decade ago and that they expect things to be better still in a decade.

So much for the good news.

Nearly 40% say they were rejected by a family member of close friend because of who they are. Thirty percent say they have been attacked or physically threatened and almost as many say they’ve been made to feel unwelcome in a church. Two in ten of the respondents say that they have been treated unfairly by an employer.

The poll used an interesting measure for the strength of the closet, asking respondents if they had told each of their parents. Fifty six percent said they told their mothers, but only 39% had told their fathers. (There’s a large “not applicable” pool here, presumably because the parents are dead.)

So with tomorrow being Father’s Day, what better gift to give Dad than the keys to your closet.

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  • Joetx

    How can 8% of LGBTs say things aren’t better than they were 10 years ago???

  • beading_man


  • Charli Girl

    I remember once when i was just a pup,called on MCC in my community of Austin,Tx to try and raffle my motorcycle bc dr just found a tumor and needed an extra hand at the time and was rejected,never went back and that was 15-20 yes ago. Hope they found their way by now.

  • Windsor519

    Don’t forget to mention how so many gay people come out hoping to find supprt only to be rejected, made fun of or snubbed by other gay people. I promise you the profoundness of that realization ‘these people are not my friends; they’re just as bad as the homophones I spent a lifetime trying to get away from’ is enough to push someone into deep depression and regret over coming out (at all), if not suicide. And I could accept that, if we cared about what happens to one another. But we don’t see other gay people as unique, mistake-making humans, we expect perfection and wealth and success or click the x and move on to the next profile.

    I don’t think things are at all better than they were in 1993 or 2003. This social isolation from each other…so we can choose who or where is ‘good enough’ for us to be seen, has created such a confusing sense of social awkwardness amongst the gay community. We don’t know how to be around each other anymore unless its our idea, and the people of our choosing.

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