The majority of non-LGBT adults are comfortable seeing queer people in ads, TV and movies, according to a new GLAAD survey.
The survey — results for which were released Thursday, June 1, the first day of Pride Month — was part of GLAAD’s annual Accelerating Acceptance Study. Based on a national respondent pool of 2,533 U.S. adults in February, the study also concluded that a vast majority of non-LGBT adults support equal rights for the LGBT community (at 84%), 75% of non-LGBT adults are comfortable seeing queer representation in ads and 73% are comfortable seeing an LGBT character included in a movie or a TV show.
Relatedly, 70% of respondents agree companies should publicly support the LGBT community through advertising and sponsorships.
Less than a third of respondents, however, knew a transgender person personally, emphasizing, per GLAAD, “an urgent need for education and representation.”
These results came as a number of companies have come under fire for their public support of LGBT customers via Pride campaigns, influencer partnerships and more. Bud Light memorably faced a massive boycott from conservative drinkers in April after an Instagram sponsorship with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, posted April 1, sparked right-wing media outcry, viral dissent from figures like Kid Rock and Megyn Kelly and a plummet in share value for parent company Anheuser-Busch. CEO Brendan Whitworth then backtracked the company’s promotion of Mulvaney, writing in a statement, “We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people. We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Target’s annual Pride campaign, meanwhile, has been subject to ridicule and in some cases vandalism this year, leading to seasonal displays being moved to the back of its stores and company stock taking a hit. Target CEO Brian Cornell denounced the pushback and expressed that such sentiment has put employees in danger.
These extreme examples, however, do not fall in line with the findings of GLAAD’s study and the majority of non-LGBT Americans’ beliefs. They are instead incited by a vocal, powerful minority.
Elsewhere in the study, GLAAD found that 66% of respondents believe the false claim that the LGBT community is a homogenous group that shares similar needs and issues, and 54% believe that nonbinary people using they/them pronouns are “in the process of figuring out who they are.” These findings correlate, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis wrote in her executive summary, “with a rise in anti-LGBTQ rhetoric from fringe politicians and extremist groups, irresponsible representations in news media, a record-high number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures, and a sharp uptick in discrimination and violence targeting members of marginalized and minority communities.”
“The 2023 Accelerating Acceptance study clearly shows the destructive repercussions of inaccurate rhetoric and baseless legislation, and showcases GLAAD’s crucial role in the ongoing fight for full LGBTQ equality and acceptance,” Ellis’ statement continued. “The study demonstrates an urgent need for education and representation, factors we know can move attitudes toward full acceptance.”