Pew Research Center drops new numbers on LGBT population

The Pew Research Center has released incredibly comprehensive new survey numbers on nearly every aspect of LGBT life in America. The survey of 1,197 LGBT adults explored many aspects of members of the LGBT community's lives and is the first study at this level by a major polling organization. The study was conducted online so as to yield more honest results from a community for whom this information could be sensitive.

The study revealed many suprising stats, some highlights of which we've included below. Included in their findings was the amazing news that about 92% of LGBT adults believe that society had become more accepting of them in the past decade and that they have high expectations for the future.

“For the LGBT population, these are the best of times,” said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, to the Washington Post. “But that does not mean these are easy times or their lives are uncomplicated. Many are still searching for a comfortable, secure place in a society where acceptance is growing but still limited. That is part of the drama of their lives.”

"It may interest people to learn that 40% of our LGBT sample are bisexuals, compared with 36% who are gay men, 19% who are lesbians and 5% who are transgender adults. Our survey finds that female bisexuals outnumber male bisexuals by nearly three-to-one. It also shows that bisexuals differ from gay men and lesbians in a number of ways. For example, 77% of gay men and 71% lesbians say that all or most of the important people in their lives know of their sexual orientation; just 28% of bisexuals say the same." said Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, and Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center.

Below we've included some highlight from the study. To read the entire study please visit: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/a-survey-of-lgbt-americans/

About 92% of LGBT adults believe that society has become more acception of the LGBT community than it was 10 years ago.

The study found that many LGBT adults face mistreatment at the hands of other because of their sexual identity.

The study found that the majority of LGBT people were more comfortable coming out to their mothers than to their fathers.

“I always felt she already knew. I always meant to have ‘the conversation’ but the time never seemed right.” – Gay man, age 57

“I doubt he would have any clue what I was talking about or why I was bringing it to him or what it meant.” – Transgender person, age 19

The study found that the largest populations of LGBT people identify themselve as bisexual and that the majority of self-described bisexuals are women.

The study found that most LGBT people discover their sexual identity around their pre-teen or early teenage years, but that gay men tended to discover their identities a few years earlier. It found that most people "knew for sure" about their LGBT identities around the same age, but that gay men tended to come out the earliest.

“It is always nerve-wracking when I come out to someone, but I have had a positive reaction from everyone I have told, except for my dad. My mom and I were already very close, so it didn’t affect our relationship. Nearly everyone in my life knows, and if someone new comes into my life, I tell him or her. If this person cannot accept that I am gay, then he or she does not need to be a part of my life.” –Lesbian, age 25, first told someone at age 13

“It was extremely difficult to come out to my family. I didn’t do so until I was in my 30′s. Thankfully, my family said they loved me no matter what. Many of my friends weren’t as fortunate to have such a positive response. It’s still not something my family really discusses but I am happy that I was finally able to share my orientation with them.” -Bisexual woman, age 41, first told someone at age 17

The study found that gay men tended to be the most "out" of the groups they studied, and that bisexuals tended to be the least comfortable coming out.

The LGBT community as a whole does not seem to feel that the religious community is friendly to them at all, but cited the Muslim religion, Morman Church, and Catholic Church as the most unfriendly.

“When I came out to my parents 30+ years ago it was very difficult. Both were very religious and felt homosexuality was a sin. Gradually they accepted my lifestyle including my partner. My life felt easier after I [came] out to them.” -Lesbian, age 59

“When I told my parents, initially our relationship grew weaker. However, after speaking with their pastor; it started getting better. With time, my life became to them a picture of normality, stability, and morality. Now everything with my parents is awesome, loving, and spiritually sound. My brothers have been by my side from the start. My sister won’t speak to me even after 21 years of being ‘out.’ All relatives with the exception of one aunt has been supportive, welcoming and family to me.” -Gay man, age 40, Catholic

The study revealed that the LGBT community believes that society is most accepting of LGBT women, less accepting of LGBT men, and least accepting of the transgender community.

The study found that personally knowing somebody who is LGBT "helps a lot" in making society more accepting, but that LGBT pride events are not as "helpful."

The study found a dramatic difference in the percieved "friendliness" of the two major American political parties, with Obama and the Democratic party being seen as far friendlier than the Republican Party as a whole.

The study found that while LGBT people tend to have positive associations with the entertainment industry and the Obama administration, and presumably by extension, the Democratic Party, they tended to feel that professiona sports leagues and the Republican Party were the most "unfriendly" to the community.

The study found at the vast majority of LGBT people identify themselves as Democrats or Independents and that LGBT Republicans are still a small minority.

 

To read the entire study please visit: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/a-survey-of-lgbt-americans/

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