A rainbow flag is displayed during the Portland Pride Parade on June 16. Photo: Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
People ages 18–34 — a mix of millennials and Gen Zers — feel less comfortable around LGBTQ people than their older counterparts, new polling from Harris Poll/GLAAD shows.
Why it matters: This age group has shown its lowest level of LGBTQ support since 2015, when GLAAD began its annual "Accelerating Acceptance" survey. GLAAD's findings also contradict the assumption that younger generations — which have grown up with legalized same-sex marriage and better LGBTQ media representation— are more accepting of LGBTQ rights than previous generations.
What they found:
- Only 45% of 18- to 34-year-olds are comfortable with LGBTQ people across 7 proposed social situations — a drop from 53% in 2018. This is the second consecutive year that this age group has been less comfortable with LGBTQ people, according to Harris Poll/GLAAD.
- 18- to 34-year-olds were the only age group to decline in this area in 2019. The most significant decline came from women aged 18–34, for whom comfort levels fell from 64% in 2018 to 52% in 2019.
- 80% of non-LGBTQ Americans support equal rights for the LGBTQ community, despite "the erosion in comfortability."
“We typically see in our surveys that younger Americans can be counted on to advocate for issues like gender equality, immigration and climate change. ... So it is surprising to see a notable erosion of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which counters many of the assumptions we make about their values and beliefs."— John Gerzema, CEO of Harris Poll
- Survey respondents were asked to respond to 7 social situations: Learning a family member is LGBTQ; learning their doctor is LGBTQ; having LGBTQ members at their place of worship; seeing an LGBTQ co-worker’s wedding picture; having their child placed in a class with an LGBTQ teacher; seeing a same-sex couple holding hands; and learning their child has a lesson on LGBTQ history in school.
- GLAAD's survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults (18+), which yielded a sample of 1,970 adults of whom 1,754 were classified as non-LGBTQ adults and used in the analysis. The online survey was administered Jan. 8–11.
- Harris Poll, which conducted the survey with GLAAD, told Axios it does not use a margin of error to measure its surveys.
Meanwhile, the Public Religion Research Institute) found that support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections declined slightly among younger Americans in 2018.
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