According to recent findings from U.K.-based research and analytics firm YouGov, it has been determined that the United States is behind other countries in terms of accepting LGBTQ+ family members. In fact, the U.S. nearly came last, second to France. This report included rates of familial support and attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people and surveyed eight countries, including Spain, Britain, Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the U.S.
The LGBTQ+ Results of the Study
One question asked how respondents would react if a “child, sibling, or a close family member” came out as LGBTQ+. Only two-thirds of people that were surveyed in the U.S. (66%) said they would be supportive of their loved one if they came out as lesbian, bisexual, or gay.
For gender identity, the results were even lower. When asked if their loved ones came out as transgender or non-binary, only 57% of Americans said they would be supportive, 22% would not support them, and 21% were undecided.
How Did These Results Compare to Other Countries?
These results were much different from other countries that participated in the survey. For example, Spain had the highest levels of support for LGBTQ+, with nine out of 10 (91%) saying they would support family members who came out as lesbian, bisexual, or gay. For gender identity, 87% of Spaniards said they would support their family or loved ones if they came out as trans or non-binary. Also, Spain has the highest number of LGBTQ+ residents living there, at 10%.
These conclusions confirm recent studies that showed how Spaniards are accepting of LGBTQ+ people. A 2019 Pew poll discovered that 89% of Spaniards believed “society should accept homosexuality.” In addition, a 2019 Eurobarometer poll found that 83% supported trans people in legally correcting their gender.
Italy also had a high level of supports for LGBTQ+ family members – 82% for lesbian, bisexual, and gay loved ones and 78% for trans or non-binary family members. This result came as a surprise since Italy has banned same-sex adoptions and had only legalized same-sex civil unions since 2016. However, they have made progress by introducing a hate crimes bill that would create penalties for anyone who committed anti-LGBTQ+ violence, despite the objections of the Catholic Church.
Surprisingly, the U.K. scored better than the U.S. when it comes to LGBTQ+ family acceptance. Even though there’s been reported transphobia from heads of government and public figures recently, the U.K. still outranked the U.S. for supporting LGBTQ+ family members. The results indicated that approximately five in six U.K. residents (85%) said they’d be accepting and supportive of an LGBTQ+ loved one. However, only 71% said they would support a family member that was trans or non-binary.
In the U.K., one in fourteen people (7%) identify as LGBTQ+, and three in ten (31%) are close to a member of the LGBTQ+ community. However, many Britons (55%) have no association with the LGBTQ+ community.
What Were the LGBTQ+ Overall Results From All Countries?
After surveying all these countries, it was determined that people would be more likely to support someone in their family if their sexual orientation was lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Conversely, folks who come out to their family as trans or non-binary are likely to receive less support.
Have Other Studies Confirmed This Type of Information?
This study has concluded similar information as other international surveys that took place. These surveys also discovered that the U.S. was below many other countries for supporting transgender people. For example, the Williams Institute, a pro-LGBTQ+ group at the University of California, Los Angeles, asked participants about their public support for trans rights in 10 different countries. The report found that even though many Americans support transgender equality, much more progress is still to be made.
According to this August 2019 report, 71% of U.S. residents that were surveyed said they believed that gender-affirming surgery should be accessible for transgender individuals. Also, the same percentage said that they thought the U.S. is becoming more supportive and accepting of trans people.
Even though it may seem like supporting LGBTQ+ folks in the U.S. is improving, according to these surveys, it appears that there is still a long way to go.
Also, public policies indicate that there is still too much discrimination towards LGBTQ+ people. For example, a record number of anti-trans bills were introduced in 2021 in state legislatures, and even a dozen of these were passed and signed into law. Moreover, social justice advocates are concerned that more conservative agendas will increase into 2022 during the midterm elections.