In a new survey, about 90 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender adults said society is more accepting of them now than it was 10 years ago, and they expect the trend to continue.
The Pew Research Center survey found 59 percent of 1,200 LGBT adults said there is some acceptance of the population, 19 percent said there is a lot of social acceptance and 21 percent said there is little or no acceptance.
A UF Student Ambassador for LGBT Affairs and 20-year-old linguistics junior Iain Randall said he feels tolerance is increasing because LGBT issues like marriage equality are becoming more public.
According to the survey, 58 percent of LGBT adults said they had been exposed to some type of discrimination — usually in the form of jokes and slurs. Nearly 40 percent said a family member or friend had rejected them because of their identity and 30 percent said they had been threatened or physically attacked.
“I’ve experienced my share of disrespectful slurs to get a rise out of me, but it never works,” Randall said. “It is something that can affect individuals in our community because it’s degrading and wears down on you after a time.”
About half of the people surveyed said all or most of the important people in their lives know they’re LGBT. Fifty-six percent have let their mother know their sexual preference or gender, and 39 percent told their fathers.
“For a lot of people there’s a perception that women are more accepting due to the socialization and experience of being a woman,” UF Director of LGBT Affairs Lauren “LB” Hannahs said. “When it comes to masculinity and homophobia, there’s always been a double standard.”