Study: Acceptance of queer folk falls sharply among young Americans

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/24/acceptance-of-queer-folk-falls.html

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They’re polling 18-24 year olds and saying it’s a decrease in acceptance among millennials - yet that’s almost all Gen Z - and only a very small number of millennials; if any depending on which start birth year used for Gen Z.

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Sorry to see this. It was really nice seeing the young people I know being accepting of, or at least showing bored teenage indifference toward, the same-sex relationships and gender-identity choices of their classmates and friends. For all the progress we’ve made as a society, the forces of intolerance and bigotry seem intent on Making America Hate Again.

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I smell bullshit. Attitudes do not change this quickly.

Example: They claim that the % of non-LGBTQ males age 18-34 that are “allies” dropped from 62% in 2016 to 40% in 2017. This is the kind of shift you see over a generation, not a single year.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and as far as I can tell, they’re not providing any details on question wording or methodology. That makes me even more suspicious that the data does not entirely support what GLAAD is claiming here.

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If accurate, this is type of story that should caution progressives against the apathy that sets in when we think that demographics are destiny and all we have to do is wait unit 20NN when Democrats and progressive values will naturally triumph because the olds will be gone and whites will no longer be the majority.

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I think you’re right, it’s that the 10% or 15% on the margin were never really OK with gay, they just had a choice between accepting the bland default liberalism of media elites or the hypocritical religious nonsense of movement conservatism. As soon as a distinctive, energetic movement came along that excited them more, they picked up a narrative to express their discomfort with it and here we are.

This is a Gen Z thing, for sure. Younger GenXers and Millennials in the same position had nowhere to go but South Park reruns.

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Ah, yeah, that makes sense. And explains how the Overton Window shifting can shift those expressed opinions, even as the culture itself has been shifting the other way.

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Right, the surprising thing isn’t that young people are unexpectedly attracted to the alt-right. After all, fascism was a youth movement. The surpsiging thing is how many adults, especially in the media, with careers built around “bland default liberalism”, are going with them.

Dave Rubin is a maybe too-easy example. Piers Morgan likewise. They always had the air of reactionary contempt that flags the heel turn from miles away. It’s the unseen institutional forces, the editors and publishers in cable news and at big newspapers, where it’s really at.

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18-34, per the report.

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Biden is the bellwether for this. If he keeps his polling numbers after last week, the party will just assume they can get all minorities to the polls even if they park him an inch left of Trump.

Which is absolutely what they are going to do, because they think that American politics is two ice cream stands on a long thin beach.

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I find the “alt-right picking up the soft queer acceptance” hypothesis unconvincing as well. These numbers are too large for total adherence to the alt-right - let alone new adherents to the alt-right within a two-year period - let alone new adherents to the alt-right who previously expressed allyship with LGBTQ! I could see 1% max from this effect. Nowhere near 15%.

Keep in mind that “okay with gay” isn’t what’s being measured here. They are lumping together discomfort with any sort of queer folk. Something that I could see having a large effect is greater awareness of trans people; most people (80%+) have no personal experience with trans, but Republicans have spent the last couple of years dredging up boogeyman scenarios. Someone who never really considered trans issues before, but now isn’t entirely sure how they’d respond in some of those scenarios, could easily get recorded as “formerly comfortable with LGBTQ, now not always comfortable” even though their attitudes haven’t changed at all.

GLAAD has been running this survey for five years. The 2015 summary has a lot more detail on questions asked, and some data distinguishing issues with trans acceptance vs gay/lesbian acceptance. 2016 and 2017 also have substantial data. The reports for 2018 and 2019, when they began the “acceptance of LGBTQ is plummeting!” narrative that they have used to generate tens of millions of dollars of new fundraising, present drastically less data. There seem to be a lot of reasons to be skeptical here.

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One marquee reads: “Garbage”, and the other: “Hot Garbage”.

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The Democratic Establishment has been running to the Right for forty years. They just want to keep a tiny bit to the Left of the Republicans for branding purposes. So it’s no surprise that the most they’ll offer are some mealy-mouthed vague celebratory babble that gets queer people to vote for them but (in their dreams) doesn’t alienate hateful White right-wingers enough to lose them any more votes. With good people doing nothing evil triumphs.

The Left strongly supports LGBTQ people and their rights, but both Parties hate and loathe anyone to the Left of Reagan. By extension any policy supported by people on the Left is unacceptable. Once again, with no prominent opposition the Right gets to craft the narrative.

It would be interesting if they had broken LGBTQ out into L, G, B, and T. I know a lot of people who are much more supportive of people being gay or bi than they are of trans. That’s just anecdotal, but I think the lumping is a source of possible distortion that a careful researcher would have considered.

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I have always been very, very skeptical of the putative revolution in attitudes over the course of my adult life. The very breadth of the change strongly suggests how shallow it is.

Like, “fag” is no longer a mainstream insult, and that’s neat. But of the people and milieux I was really afraid of as a teenager, I suspect almost nothing has changed (at least in the absence of witnesses). Basically, if you don’t particularly care about queer folk, the fashionable position has changed from “they’re abominations” to “they’re acceptable”; but I don’t see any reason why fashion couldn’t change back again just as quickly. I don’t think there’s been any mass Road-to-Damascus moment.

I also agree that increased discussion of trans people likely has a lot to do with this. Without going on a massive tangent, almost all the discussion of trans* issues in the last decade has played into the hands of the bigoted right from where I’m sitting.

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It’d be interesting if they broke down the L,G,B, and T.

I’ve noticed people are more supportive of gay and lesbians, still quite rude about bi or queer people (ex: assuming if I agree to be in a monogomous relationship I’m more likely to cheat because I’m a 2 on the kinsey scale), and flat out mean to trans folks. But they think they’re woke because they think two corporate dems getting married is a-ok :roll_eyes:

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There are a number of former populations in Europe, and Rawanda, and Cambodia, and Turkey, and the Former Yugoslavia, and the United States, and … that would like a word with you.

Over and over again people have been able to get along just fine until all of a sudden - literally overnight in some cases - they were at each others throats.

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I don’t disagree with some of that perspective but I feel like this is a fairly biased opinion presented as fact.

I will say that I think we’re in a strange period, where we’re not sure if fascism is on the rise or merely in its death throes. I hope the latter, but suspect and fear the former.

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Sure, I’m happy to cop to being biased. This is absolutely my opinion and one subject to rude correction by facts more carefully elaborated.

I just read (and blogged) a post at The Outline that poses this outcome more as the result of a disastrously passive media strategy, among mainstream queer activists, since Obergefell.

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Link to the Outline piece?

I can’t really carefully elaborate on my correction (which wasn’t really a correction, nor intended to be rude), I just think the assertion that the liberal mainstream support for LGBTQ folk is “spineless and vague” isn’t something I agree with. I see a lot of support from that side, and I think criticism is best leveled in the other direction.

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