Survey: 7 of 10 Americans know someone gay
published Tuesday, October 10, 2006
As gay men and lesbians celebrate another National Coming Out Day on Wednesday, a new survey reports seven out of 10 straight adults in the United States say they know someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
The nationwide Harris Interactive online survey of 2,932 U.S. adults also found that 83 percent of those who self-identify as gay or lesbian consider themselves out.
When LGBT respondents were asked if they considered themselves open about their sexual orientation, 92 percenet said they are out to their close friends, and 78 percent said they are out to their parents.
A majority also indicated they are out to other people in their lives, including grandparents, cousins, acquaintances and casual friends, and coworkers and colleagues.
"If seven out of 10 heterosexuals know someone who is GLBT, then many gays and lesbians are making their identity apparent as a natural part of their lives -- just like their age, height, hair color, or personality," said Mark Shields, director of the Human Rights Campaign's National Coming Out Project.
When we come out we win. When they know us, they support us. I am tired of waiting for all the homophobic old preachers to die off and be replaced by tolerant kids from the MTV generation. It is only a matter of time before we win .
Every NCOD each year I think of Dr. Rob Eichberg in Santa Fe who founded NCOD. Rob died of AIDS in 1994 and his lectures and mentoring and friendship back when I was living in Santa Fe, New Mexico is a great reason I am alive and out and happy today. I miss you Rob --thanks for what your leadership and vision.
"For most people, coming out or opening up to someone starts with a conversation. And for those interested in fostering strong, deep relationships with their friends and family, living openly often allows for closer relationships with the people they care about most."
Still, more than half of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender said that concern about being the victim of a hate crime remains a deterrent to coming out. Other concerns that LGBT adults cite as to why a person might not come out include rejection by their families and friends and the threat of losing their jobs.
The survey was conducted Sept. 7-14 by Harris Interactive in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the LGBT market. (The Advocate)