QUEER VOICES

Surprising Number Of Americans Still Uncomfortable Seeing Same-Sex Couples Holding Hands

Half of Americans think that "gay people have the same rights as everybody else."

A new survey is shedding light on exactly how Americans feel when it comes to issues regarding the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

Today GLAAD released The Accelerating Acceptance Report, which includes results from a survey conducted online October 5-7, 2015 among 2,032 adults ages 18 and older by Harris Poll.

The poll reveals some shocking realities about the lack of understanding many Americans still have when it comes to rights for queer people, including the alarming news that 29 percent of non-LGBT Americans say they are uncomfortable seeing a same-sex couple holding hands. Though that figure is down seven percent from 2014, it -- along with other findings from the survey noted in the graphic below -- points to how much more needs to be done to change minds about the queer community.

The American Acceptance report also found that 50 percent of all non-LGBT Americans dangerously believe that, following nationwide marriage equality, all gay people have the same rights as everyone else. Additionally, 27 percent of those polled believed that violence directed at the transgender community is not a problem and 37 percent of non-LGBT Americans did not view homelessness for queer youth as a major issue.

“Complacency is the enemy of social progress,” GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “2015 was a monumental year for the LGBT community, but marriage equality is a benchmark -- not a finish line. The hard work of legislative change must go hand in hand with that which cannot be decided in a courtroom: changing hearts and minds.”

Michelangelo Signorile, HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-At-Large and the author of It's Not Over, noted, "These findings show how seductive the media can be, and how we can all be lulled in a false sense of security. The tough challenges ahead are not just about taking on our enemies, who are feeling invigorated and ready for the battle, but also about keeping our allies informed and energized." 

Want to read the the report in full? Head here.

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