survey says

The 2000s Were Awesome For Homosexuals, Except If You’re In High School or the Military


There’s no arguing: As the 2000s (the oh’s? the aughts?) come to a close, we’re finishing a chapter in America history that provided some of the greatest gains in LGBT rights than ever before. There’s even a new report saying so! But going through the list of all these achievements, we can’t help but notice: there’s a helluva lot missing.

Not that we’re ungrateful, silly. A Decade of Progress on LGBT Rights, compiled by the LGBT Movement Advancement Project and the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr., Fund, notes things like, “The number of Americans living in a state that offers some protections to same-sex couples nearly tripled, from 12.7 percent to 37.2 percent,” and, “The number of openly LGBT elected officials in America rose 73 percent between 2000 and 2009, from 257 to 445,” and, “The percentage of the public supporting the right of openly gay and lesbian people to serve in the military grew from 62 percent to 75 percent.”

And then there’s the bad news: “New HIV infections among adolescent and adult men who have sex with men grew 10 percent, from 28,000 to 30,800, as did the percentage of new HIV infections overall that occurred among men who have sex with men, which rose from 51 percent to 53 percent,” and, “The percentage of LGBT students reporting hearing homophobic remarks in school has remained above 99 percent and LGBT students who report experiencing harassment in school edged up (up from 83.2 percent to 86.2 percent).”

But of course, we’ve got Gay Inc. to handle all that, right?! Uh oh: “The total financial size of leading LGBT organizations had been growing steadily until the economic downturn in 2009. The number of donors to and foundation investments in the LGBT movement are growing. The economic recession will almost certainly negatively impact these indicators in the next year or two.”

The whole report is available here (PDF) and is full of cutesy clip art and charts. But we’ll never see the whole picture, thanks in part to glaring gaps in available data: “Except for aggregate federal expenditures on HIV/AIDS, data on government spending for LGBT issues or services are sparse and/or difficult to identify. Federal spending data would be ideal, as would spending data from several key states, such as California, Florida, Illinois, Texas, and New York, which have the highest concentration of LGB adults.”