(WASHINGTON) — At one time stigmatized by most of the heterosexual population, an overwhelming majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults now say society is more accepting of them.
In a first of its kind poll by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of LGBT adults who feel that way also believe things will only get better in the future.
Another finding suggests familiarity might actually breed “content,” since nine in ten Americans say they have a LGBT family member or friend, up from 60 percent a few years ago.
However, opinions vary greatly about just how understanding the so-called “straight” world is of alternative lifestyles.
Just 19 percent of respondents to the Pew poll say they feel a “lot” of acceptance, while nearly six in ten believe it’s more like “some” acceptance. The remaining fifth classify it as “little” or “none.”
Another sign that old stereotypes still exist is the claim by over half of LGBT adults that they’ve personally been hurt by anti-gay jokes or slurs. In fact, significant numbers of this group allege they’ve been rejected by family or friends or have been threatened with physical violence.
When asked who among the LGBT community is accepted a lot, Pew found that a third of LGBT adults said bisexual women, followed by one in four who mentioned lesbians, 15 percent who listed gay men and eight percent who said bisexual men. Transgenders were last, with only three percent feeling they were accepted.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Eliza Mackintosh, CNN
Stephanie Elam, CNN