How Do Millennials Feel About LGBTQ Rights? The Support Is Overwhelming & That Makes Me Hopeful For The Future
While there is obviously still a lot of ground left to cover, LGBTQ rights have been on an upswing in recent years. As an LGBTQ person myself, I'm always invested in what's happening for the queer community in terms of politics and our legal rights and protections. I do wonder, though: How do other Millennials feel about LGBTQ rights? According to a recent survey released by GenForward the news is good: Millennials are in support of LGBTQ rights. And to be clear, this support isn't a simple majority or coming from a marginal difference — it's overwhelmingly positive. And, as scary as our world often seems these days, that gives me hope for the future.
GenForward surveyed 1,940 American youths between 18 and 30 years of age between the dates of July 9 and 20, 2016. An important factor to note when discussing these results is that researchers used a probability-based model, which is designed to be representative of the entire U.S. population. This means that while more research is still needed, we can generally view these results as representative of the Millennial population as a whole. And that's awesome news, because according to the survey results, support for LGBTQ rights and protections has increased across the board over the past two years.
Specifically, GenForward asked Millennials about their thoughts on legal protections for the LGBTQ community in terms of employment, housing, and adoption rights. Of those surveyed, 90 percent supported employment protections for LGBTQ individuals, 80 percent supported LGBTQ adoption rights, and 92 percent supported HIV and AIDs prevention.
As a queer person myself, I think these topics are extremely important and often get left behind when we focus our attention on solely one issue. Take marriage equality, for example: While I'm thrilled that same-sex marriage is finally legal nationwide, it doesn't necessarily mean that other protections, such as those surrounding adoption or health care, have changed at all. That's why it is so important to bring awareness about these issues into the general population, so people don't "move on" from the fight for LGBTQ equality just because one piece of it has been accomplished.
It's also important to view these issues from an intersectional lens, remembering that there are additional layers of difficulty and obstacles for some members of the LGBTQ community — for example, LGBTQ people of color, sex workers, and the transgender community. It's a reminder about why it's so significant that we don't assume all members of the LGBTQ community are "better" now that marriage equality is legal across the country.
For queer people who have been evicted from their homes because of their gender identity, or a couple who gets married and subsequently loses their jobs, marriage equality is still a celebration, but certainly not enough protection for their overall health, happiness, and prosperity. Still, these survey results give me hope — because what they show is that we're looking to the future. As far as we might have come, we know the fight isn't over. And as Millennials, post-Millennials, and all of the generations still to come become more accepting, hopefully our laws and protections will change as well. And that's a comforting thought.
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