Young people are growing less tolerant of LGBTQ individuals, a jarring turn for a generation traditionally considered embracing and open, a survey released Monday shows.
The number of Americans 18 to 34 who are comfortable interacting with LGBTQ people slipped from 53% in 2017 to 45% in 2018 – the only age group to show a decline, according to the annual Accelerating Acceptance report. And that is down from 63% in 2016. Driving the dilution of acceptance are young women whose overall comfort levels plunged from 64% in 2017 to 52% in 2018, says the survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD.
“We count on the narrative that young people are more progressive and tolerant,” John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, told USA TODAY. “These numbers are very alarming and signal a looming social crisis in discrimination.”
The negative shift for the young is surprising, said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO. When GLAAD delved into the numbers, the group found that the younger generation was coming in contact with more LBGTQ people, particularly individuals who are non-binary and don’t identify simply as lesbian or gay.
“This newness they are experiencing could be leading to this erosion. It’s a newness that takes time for people to understand. Our job is to educate about non-conformity,” she said. Read more via USA TOday