Study: 60% accepting of LGBTQ coworkers

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A nationwide study shows that even more Americans don’t care about the sexuality or gender expression of those they work. PR firm Bospar conducted the survey for the 50th anniversary of Pride Month, polling over 2,000 American adults from May 24–31, 2019.  They discovered that 60 percent of Americans have no preference about the gender identity or sexuality of those with whom they work. Last year Bospar reported that percentage at 55 percent.

An overwhelming majority of Americans — 83 percent — believe that LGBTQ equality will be achieved in the workplace.  When asked how, the top reasons cited included: more diversity in the workforce; more workplace education about LGBTQ issues; younger professionals joining the workforce; and more employees being out.

Overall, 68 percent of Americans think LGBTQ equality is improving.

However, there are still challenges to overcome:

  • Nearly a third of Americans say they have been harassed at work due to their sexuality
  • Over a third of Americans disagree with the transgender military ban
  • Nearly a half of the population — 48 percent — say Chick-Fil-A’s donation to anti-LGBTQ organizations doesn’t matter
  • Nearly a third of Americans — 29 percent — agree with Alabama Public Television’s decision to ban an episode of the children’s cartoon “Arthur” which featured a gay wedding; 41 percent thought it was the wrong thing to do.

“While it is heartening that 60 percent of Americans are comfortable working with LGBTQ people, workplace equality is far from the reality for many in our community, especially those who have multiple marginalized identities — so we have significant work ahead,” said Roger Doughty, President of Horizons Foundation, the world’s first LGBTQ community foundation. “Even in the San Francisco Bay Area, often regarded as a bastion for LGBTQ equality, our research shows that over half of LGBTQ people say that concerns about physical and emotional safety limit where they can work.”

Three-fourths of Americans (77 percent) believe that LGBTQ topics should be taught in schools.  Middle school was the most popular choice at 25 percent, followed by high school at 21 and K-6th grade at 19 percent.

Americans had an overwhelmingly favorite communicator of LGBTQ equality in 2019 – Ellen DeGeneres. Here was the top 10:

  1.     Ellen DeGeneres
  2.     Lady Gaga
  3.     Neil Patrick Harris
  4.     RuPaul
  5.     George Takei
  6.     Madonna
  7.     Ariana Grande
  8.     Pete Buttigieg
  9.     Cher
  10.     Tim Cook

“I’d like to congratulate Ellen DeGeneres as being America’s favorite communicator for LGBTQ equality,” said George Takei.  “It is humbling to be listed in this amazing lineup of talent.  What this also shows is that more and more Americans are coming forward to make LGBTQ equality a priority in their lives.  I hope when we celebrate the next fifty years of pride that this list includes more business people and politicians so we all can live long and prosper.”

“Right now, several factors are contributing to what is a watershed moment in workplace social dynamics,” said Gabrielle Ayala, a principal of Propeller Insights.  “The inclusion of high-profile LGBTQ personalities in mainstream media, especially those that transcend that label like an Ellen DeGeneres, goes a long way in breaking down those stigmas that lead to discrimination and prejudice.  Combined with a social movement like #MeToo, which empowers people with its collective voice, the focus is shifting away from what people do in their personal lives to how people conduct themselves at the office, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

“These results show that more and more Americans are accepting their LGBTQ colleagues at work,” said Curtis Sparrer, a principal of Bospar PR.  “It’s a further sign of progress that the people Americans named as the top communicators of LGBTQ equality include entertainers, straight allies, business leaders, and politicians. That said, we have challenges to overcome, including harassment and the military ban on transgender soldiers. When it comes to equality, I think baseball legend Yogi Berra said it best: ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’”

Bospar calls themselves the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map.

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