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Why Americans’ ‘Comfort Levels’ With LGBT People Dropped Last Year


America’s comfort level with the LGBTQ population is declining, according to GLADD, one of the oldest and largest LGBTQ organizations. GLAAD reports a drop of 3 to 4 percent drop in people’s reported “comfort levels” with several scenarios, such as learning a family member is gay. “This year, the acceptance pendulum abruptly stopped and swung in the opposite direction,” the report states. “More non-LGBTQ adults responded that they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ uncomfortable around LGBTQ people in select scenarios.”

The decline is paired with a significant increase in LGBTQ people reporting discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity,” the report continues. “This change can be seen as a dangerous repercussion in the tenor of discourse and experience over the last year. 2017 brought heightened rhetoric toward marginalized communities to the forefront of American culture.”

The survey incorporated 2,100 respondents over the age of 18 and has been in place for several years. The survey asks for their comfort level with scenarios such as, “learning my doctor is LGBT” and “learning a family member is LGBT.” From 2014, in which comfort levels were the lowest, to 2016 where they were the highest, the change fluctuates under a 4 percent difference.

For example, in 2014, 31 percent felt uncomfortable with their doctor being LGBT. In 2015 and 2016, that was 28 percent, and in 2017, it hit 31 percent. “Learning my child has a lesson on LGBT history in school” represented the least comfort level in all four years, staying steady at 37 percent discomfort in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and only dropping to 34 percent in 2016.

If we put the shift in context, it appears the LGBT focus on transgender advocacy may have an impact on how average Americans view LGBT as a whole. Of U.S. Christians, for example, 63 percent believe sex is determined at birth rather than dissected between a changeable gender and ‘assigned’ sex. Of the same group, however, 54 percent believe homosexuality should be accepted. Roughly half of Americans believe sex is determined at birth at 54 percent, while 62 percent support same-sex marriage. It is clear that even in traditionally unfavorable populations, gay people are more easily accepted.

It is not difficult to understand why. Reasonably, before 2015, when transgender activists began demanding access to sex-segregated private spaces based solely on how they identify, transgender issues seemed largely resolved. Transgender reassignment surgeries were occurring in the mid to late 1950s, with Christine Jorgensen becoming a celebrity in the United States in 1959.

The first case that found post-operative transgender individuals could legally marry as the opposite gender was ruled in 1976. Most states have a process for recognizing a new legal gender and are willing to update the birth certificate. By the late 2000’s and into the second decade of the century, many major businesses were offering health insurance coverage of sex reassignment surgery.

But the media cycle began fixating on the idea of transgender bathroom access around 2015, and relentlessly pursued every conceivable social comfort and safety concern associated with access. From high school locker rooms to public restrooms and gym changing areas, America watched aggressive transgender activists impose new policies and regulations, and win lawsuits.

With fears of non-transgender predators taking advantage of the new policies, many states began implementing laws requiring a person to use the bathroom of their sex at birth. During that time as the rhetoric and demands rose, conversation among many on the right turned to concerns about women and children’s safety.

Shortly after, the news cycle moved on to children and gendered clothing, toys and costumes. Starting in 2015, Target led the way by announcing an end to gender-specific signage throughout the store. Disney stores followed announcing an end to “boys” and “girls” costume and toy labels. By 2017, we saw drag queens and other gender-nonconforming “educators” presenting gender identity classes to elementary school children.

January 2017 also saw the cover of National Geographic with a young boy dressed in pink with the title “Gender Revolution.” The series featured multiple 8-year-old boys and girls cross-dressing and identifying as the other gender. Jazz Jennings, a male child who became the star of a TLC program titled “I Am Jazz,” was followed through his transition, chemical puberty blockers, and social struggles.

We have witnessed an 8-year-old drag queen celebrated by LGBT media and culture and featured as the “covergirl” of an adult gay men’s erotic clothing shop. We have seen a sharp spike in child referrals in Europe for transgender treatment options. Parents are growing more aware that their ability to intervene in their child’s gender identity decisions made at school can lead to shaming and accusations of child abuse.

When a teenage boy who referred to himself as Leelah committed suicide at age 17 by running into traffic after his parents asked him to wait another year before beginning transition, LGBT advocates accused them of murdering their son. Writing for ThinkProgress, LGBT activist Zack Ford wrote, “I learned about Leelah’s death while traveling and expressed my grief on Twitter as such: ‘Rejecting the reality of LGBT identities is a form of genocide, an attempt to erase whole communities. Unfortunately, sometimes it works.’”

While many do not care if adults transition, the concern surrounding the consequences of transitioning children is growing. Very recently it was reported that Jazz Jennings is suffering from a profound consequence of hormone therapy. Jennings was placed on puberty blockers and now, as a 17-year-old, has prep-pubescent genitalia. As a result, Jennings is unable to go through “confirmation surgery” to form Jennings’ penis into a vagina. Jennings is likely to be infertile and unable to function as a sexual adult in the future. We have also watched as trans activists shame teenage and adult straight men for not wishing to date them or engage in sex with them.

Gay Americans have also contributed to many social concerns. Shortly after the Supreme Court decided that states could no longer limit marriage to one man and one woman, gay activists began demanding wedding cake bakers, caterers and photographers participate in their services. With highly publicized court cases in which small business owners found themselves losing everything they worked for with hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, gay activists took on the role of bully rather than victim.

HIV activists too created uncertainty by demanding an end to HIV disclosure laws and limitations on blood donations. The LGBT media recently and widely celebrated a movie featuring a gay adult man sexually seducing a teenage boy titled, “Call Me by Your Name.” The movie is up for several Oscars in 2018.

Many people have watched the LGBT community and feel they are growing ever more hostile and bigoted towards them without just cause. In the survey itself it was reported that 55 percent of LGBT experienced discrimination as opposed to 44 percent a year before. A Center for American Progress report declared 1 in 4 LGBT Americans face discrimination. Most people don’t see examples of this in their daily lives, and yet average people are being increasingly accused of perpetrating oppression.

The left has a strange sense of entitlement to not only acceptance from the larger society, but also a universal embrace of their ideology. It is not enough to hold legal and civil equality — society must celebrate them as well. As a result, their rhetoric and activism become ever more petty and vindictive and naturally, the majority they accuse becomes more resentful.

Although a movement of a few percentage points is not indicative of a wide-sweeping change in public opinion, the reaction to it demonstrates something important. The LGBT movement is deeply reliant on social acceptance and approval and wishes to micromanage how we perceive them. But their efforts to coerce, impose and enforce radical policy and ideas onto the culture appear to be resulting in the exact opposite of what they wish to achieve.

Americans grew to accept gay people and even gay marriage through friendships, normalcy and time. They never cared about the personal choices of transgender people. Most simply do not care what adults do in private. But the more the LGBT movement imposes their demands on the daily lives of average people with threats of losing their livelihood and reputation if offended, the less acceptance they are likely to find. This is especially true when their ideas directly threaten the safety of children or vulnerable populations.