Publications

Accelerating Acceptance 2021

Each year through extensive polling and research, GLAAD looks at the state of America’s hearts and minds when it comes to accepting LGBTQ people.

Accelerating Acceptance 2021

As the LGBTQ community continues to expand and become more visible, the 2021 Accelerating Acceptance study takes a deeper look at non-LGBTQ Americans’ familiarity, comfortability, and understanding of the LGBTQ experience.

This year, the Accelerating Acceptance Study found that non-LGBTQ Americans are becoming more understanding that the LGBTQ community is not just one homogenous group, but rather a diverse community of various identities across gender and sexuality. Additionally, the findings show that non-LGBTQ Americans are becoming increasingly aware that there are more than two genders, with many polled also understanding that transgender and nonbinary people will continue to be a more visible and familiar part of life.

However, with expanding visibility does come new challenges for acceptance. While understanding is advancing in some areas, approximately half of non-LGBTQ people find conversations about gender identity and the LGBTQ community complicated or confusing.

An alarming result from the poll shows that LGBTQ people say they’ve experienced discrimination at higher levels in 2021 than last year, with 6 in 10 LGBTQ respondents reporting discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. During a year when state legislatures across the U.S. introduced an unprecedented number of anti-LGBTQ bills, many targeting the trans community, the importance of passing the Equality Act has never been more critical.

This year’s Accelerating Acceptance study highlights clear opportunities for education and a redoubled commitment to advancing visibility and representation, particularly responsible and nuanced depictions of trans and nonbinary people, as well as the diversity of identities within the entire LGBTQ community. GLAAD remains hard at work to encourage stories that present audiences everywhere with the richness and humanity of our communities, changing the narrative from animosity to embrace, and educating audiences, voters, journalists, and politicians about the lived realities of our lives.