Positive change… at least in the UK.
Majority of heterosexuals are ready to leap to an LGBT individual’s defense in the face of homophobia. This is according to a new Ipsos MORI study for grooming brand Harry’s, which surveyed 2,251 adults in the UK.
Seventy-nine (79) per cent of straight people surveyed said they would do something if they saw a member of the LGBT community being verbally abused in the street because of their sexuality. Over half (52%) would intervene directly if they felt it was safe to, with others saying they’d phone the police, offer support or seek help from others.
Seventy-seven (77) percent of straight people know an out LGBT individual, and 30% count LGBT people among their close friends or family. Just over one in 10 people (11%), who responded to the survey, have an immediate family member who is LGBT.
Knowing someone from the LGBT community makes you more likely to react positively to LGBT issues in general. Only 9% of people with close LGBT friends or family would have a negative reaction to a teenage child coming out, for example, whereas that number increases to 17% amongst those who know no LGBT people.
Other findings of the study:
- Majority have embraced same-sex marriage. Over half of adults in the UK (54%) who responded to the survey support same sex marriage.
- Around one in five would feel trusted if their teenage son or daughter came out to them. The survey found 21% of respondents would feel ‘trusted’ by their teenage son or daughter opening up to them, 18% say they’d be ‘proud’ and another 18% would be ‘happy’. Encouragingly the least common reactions included ‘angry’ and ‘sad’.
- 86% of LGBT people say the best way to support the community is to treat them the same as everyone else, with straight respondents aligned with 63% thinking the same.
- Nearly three-quarters (73%) of LGBT respondents think more companies should have ‘straight ally’ schemes to tackle homophobia in the workplace and over half of 16-34’s agreed. A majority of all women (55%) believed this workplace initiative should be instigated, with a lower percentage of men (41%) agreeing.
But acceptance of the LGBT community is not quite complete. While 82% of people said they felt comfortable around lesbians, and a similar number (81%) were comfortable around gay men, fewer people (76%) said they were comfortable around bisexuals and only 62% were comfortable around transgender individuals. Just over twice as many people (23%) said they felt uncomfortable around transgender individuals than around gay men (11%).