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LGBTQ+ Equality Support Is at Record High But Troubling Trends Exist: Report | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing


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Support for equal rights for LGBTQ+ Americans is at a record high — but there are “disturbing” downward trends and misunderstandings in certain areas, according to GLAAD’s latest “Accelerating Acceptance” study.

The 2023 study, released Thursday and based on a survey conducted in February, found that 84 percent of respondents endorsed equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, the largest percentage since GLAAD initiated the study in 2015. That’s up from 81 percent in 2022 and 79 percent in 2021. That is “the most important finding,” GLAAD notes in its report, but there is also some troubling data that reflects the anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric coming from right-wing politicians.

“Of non-LGBTQ Americans, 66% believe the false claim that the LGBTQ community is one group who all share similar needs and issues, and 54% believe the false claim that people who use they/them pronouns are ‘in the process of figuring out who they are,’” the report’s executive summary states. “In truth, individuals use pronouns to express themselves as who they are in their fullness. And the LGBTQ community is everywhere, is multifaceted, and exists in all parts of society; the community’s needs and truths are as varied as the people who comprise it.”

“These figures correlate with a rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from fringe politicians and extremist groups, irresponsible representations in news media, a record-high number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures, and a sharp uptick in discrimination and violence targeting members of marginalized and minority communities,” the report continues.

More than 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year, and several have passed. Many of them deal specifically with transgender youth. Some seek to deny them gender-affirming health care, while others would keep them from playing on school sports teams or accessing school restrooms that match their gender identity. Actions aimed at LGBTQ+ people in general include efforts to ban books with LGBTQ+ content and restrict classroom instruction about LGBTQ+ issues and identities — the “don’t say gay or trans” bills.

All these moves “convey the damaging notion that LGBTQ people are to be marginalized, shunned, or feared,” GLAAD observes. Debates over these bills are having a negative impact on young people’s mental health, and proponents of such legislation are using slurs like “groomer,” “pedophile,” and “predator” to describe the LGBTQ+ community.

“GLAAD’s study found that Americans see the connection: 86% believe that exposure to hate content online is leading to violence in the real world, and 66% of Americans believe that anti-LGBTQ bills and legislation at the state level will lead to increased discrimination and violence against the LGBTQ community,” the “Accelerating Acceptance” report states.

Over the past year, this discrimination and violence has included 166 actions targeting drag events, according to GLAAD’s count, ranging from protests to firebombings, and reflecting the false narrative pushed by the right that drag shows are endangering children.

There are hopeful signs, however. Majorities of non-LGBTQ+ respondents said they are comfortable with LGBTQ+ people in a variety of situations. These included having LGBTQ+ people in one’s place of worship, as family members, and as doctors.

Majorities of non-LGBTQ+ people were also comfortable with seeing LGBTQ+ people depicted in advertising, movies, and TV shows, and many said such depictions increased their comfort level with people different from themselves. Seventy percent of non-LGBTQ+ respondents said corporations should support LGBTQ+ inclusion and equality.

Some confusion remained around transgender and nonbinary identities, with half of respondents saying they find trans and nonbinary people “new and unfamiliar.” In addition, 55 percent agreed with the statement “I am confused by all the different letters and terms to describe individuals who comprise the LGBTQ community.”

The “Accelerating Acceptance” report “clearly shows the destructive repercussions of inaccurate rhetoric and baseless legislation, and showcases GLAAD’s crucial role in the ongoing fight for full LGBTQ equality and acceptance,” GLAAD writes. “The study demonstrates an urgent need for education and representation, factors we know can move attitudes toward full acceptance.”

The study was conducted online among a national sample of 2,533 U.S. adults, age 18 or older. Read the full report at GLAAD.org/Acceptance.



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