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GLAAD Finds Sharp Rise in Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ Americans

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The findings are disturbing but not surprising, given anti-LGBTQ+ activity in state legislatures.

GLAAD's annual Accelerating Acceptance study has some disturbing findings this year, with a sharp increase in the number of LGBTQ+ Americans reporting they've experienced discrimination.

Seventy percent of respondents in this year's study say they've experience discrimination due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. That's up from 59 percent in 2021 and 46 percent in 2020.

This discrimination "is taking place not in distant, seldom-visited corners of their experience, but in their daily lives -- with family, in the workplace, on social media, in public accommodations, and in interactions with people at their children's schools," the report notes.

Respondents also see threats to their physical safety. Fifty-four percent of transgender and nonbinary people feel unsafe walking in their neighborhoods, compared to 36 percent of all LGBTQ+ adults, and they feel unsafe in various other environments, including work, social media, and retail stores. Also, 61 percent of LGBTQ+ people of color say they face discrimination based on their race or ethnicity as well.

More Gen Z Americans are out as LGBTQ+ than any other generation -- 20.8 percent, according to Gallup -- yet 56 percent of Gen Z people surveyed by GLAAD said they are more fearful for their personal safety in 2022 than in the prior two years.

"GLAAD's research findings are distressing, but not unforeseen," GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a press release. "Legislation targeting LGBTQ people and youth, including censorship in classrooms, book bans, bans on evidence-based healthcare and access to school sports, has ballooned since 2020 to nearly 250 bills introduced in statehouses across the nation.

"Misinformation and false rhetoric from anti-LGBTQ lawmakers has real-life consequences and gives a permission slip to discriminate against LGBTQ people and target them, as happened in Idaho with the arrests of white supremacists plotting to attack a Pride event, and the suspect in the mass murder of Black Americans in Buffalo targeting trans people in his 'manifesto.' Every LGBTQ person and ally must use this information to speak up and hold elected officials, news media, and social media platforms accountable to actions and rhetoric that make everyone less safe."

The study further indicated that respondents want nationwide protections against discrimination in the form of the Equality Act, which is supported by President Joe Biden and has been passed by the U.S. House but is stalled in the Senate. "GLAAD's study proves a need for the Equality Act that would protect every LGBTQ American, protections supported by a vast majority of all Americans," Ellis said. "The Senate must pass it immediately and secure the core value of treating people equally into law."

Find highlights of the study here and the full study here.

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