Poll: Americans are suddenly "uncomfortable" with gay people
According to GLAAD and a slew of headlines recently, Americans have grown "somewhat" or "very" uncomfortable with gay folks. There is good news, yes: 79% of those polled support equality for LGBT people. The new issue, then, is this idea of "comfort," seeing an LGBT-identified co-worker's wedding photo. That sort of thing.
In his weekly polemic at NYMag, the writer Andrew Sullivan, ever the polemicist and indulgent contrarian, turned his gaze inward toward the gay community. As he sees it, we've collectively abandoned all sense of "integration" that came with the civil rights struggles of marriage equality and military service. Since then, we've embraced intersectionality—a necessary thing, your Native American gay writer will concur—but in a way that seems more divisive than anything. I'm not fully on board with his assessment, though there is certainly logic to his belief that our biggest social gains arrived "when we worked against polarlization," (though that didn't happen without internal debate either).
Clarksville's David Shelton took a closer look at the numbers and saw maybe a bit of ... dare we say "fake news?!?"
As it regards non-LGBT people in that GLAAD poll, he writes on his blog Skipping to the Piccolo, they were categorized in three groups: Allies, Detached Supporters, and Resisters.
The largest group was “allies” at 49%, down from 53% in 2016. This group is “very” or “somewhat” comfortable in all LGBTQ situations. That’s a pretty big drop.
The next group of “Detatched Supporters” were 37%, up from 33% in 2016. 40% of the country has some level of overall discomfort about LGBT people. The largest jump was seen in those uncomfortable with LGBT history taught in schools. This shows the greatest challenge, and the most important point in the entire study: education.
For years, 14% of the population were categorized as either “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable in all situations with LGBTQ people.. The new poll shows NO CHANGE in that.
Where the headlines get their “story” is by combining the “Resisters” with the “detached supporters” to get 51%, a majority of Americans that are “anti-LGBTQ.”
Why aren’t we saying that 86% of Americans have some level of comfort with LGBT people instead?
So perhaps it's not "fake news" but maybe fake headlines (snarkiness in the headline atop this very article aside). Y'all... sometimes numbers is hard! You can see the results of that poll for yourself here via the GLAAD website.
Graphic via Bustle