77% of Americans Know That They Know A Gay Person


77 percent of Americans now admit that they actually know another gay person. This is based on a CBS News poll released today. The survey surveyed 1,050 people who happened to be at home with a landline when CBS called between May 20th-24th, which isn’t necessarily the best way to reach gay socialites or urban dwellers, but whatevs. Obviously if I had paid attention during statistics, I could’ve done this survey myself but instead I’m sitting here in my underwear thinking about Harvey Milk.

Here’s the rest of those stats:

+ Nearly eight in 10 Americans know someone who is gay or lesbian, a percentage that has increased by 35 percentage points since 1992.
+  43% of Americans think homosexual relations between consenting adults are wrong, while slightly more – 48% – do not. That has changed since 1978, when a majority felt it was wrong.
+  Just 36% think homosexuality is something people choose to be, most (51%) think it is how one is born. That, too, has changed over the years.
+  53% of Americans think it is necessary to have laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in hiring and promotion, 43% do not.
+ 84% of under 30s know a gay person, as opposed to only 66% of people over the age of 65.

Well, we have a theory based on talking to ourselves — 100% of Americans know a gay person. They just don’t KNOW that they know a gay person. This is partially our own fault for being collectively afraid to come out to our grandparents, but if CBS called your Mamaw right now, what would she say? Here’s what Harvey Milk wants to say:

Gay brothers and sisters,… You must come out. Come out… to your parents… I know that it is hard and will hurt them but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives… come out to your friends… if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors… to your fellow workers… to the people who work where you eat and shop… come out only to the people you know, and who know you. Not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths, destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake. For the sake of the youngsters who are becoming scared by the votes from Dade to Eugene.

Regardless, isn’t it HILARIOUS that people who know you, don’t think you deserve equal rights? Oh, America. America!


All is not well in the world of Pride politics. Madrid has uninvited an Israeli delegation to their parade, one of the largest in the world, over fear of angering Palestinian groups. The Israel LGBT Union isn’t happy, pointing out that “Israel is the only country in the Middle East that holds pride parades, hangs pride flags on the streets and respects the gay and lesbian community’s rights. The primitive politicization and the blatant capitulation to the terror and violence of anti-Israeli elements go against the Pride Parade’s principle of preventing discrimination.” In Canada, Pride Toronto has decided to ban the term “Israeli Apartheid” at this year’s celebration, prompting 23 past recipients of Pride Toronto awards to give their awards back in protest. (@ynetnews) (@nowtoronto)


Lesbians are Good Parents After All“Contrary to assertions from people opposed to same-sex parenting, we found that the 17-year-olds scored higher in psychological adjustment in areas of competency and lower in problem behaviors than the normative age-matched sample of kids raised in traditional families with a mom and a dad.”(@webmd)


With artists like dollar sign and Miley (who didn’t even kiss a girl, guys! She promises!) out there, we’re left wondering why Janelle Monae isn’t making bank – “Since her music crosses conventions, a logical conclusion would be that the Atlanta-based singer/songwriter has a broad appeal. Unfortunately, thanks to a system where music is market tested and distilled down to appeal to just one demographic, ”innovating” means ”liability.””(@theroot)


Cosmo’s cover stories this month might be about the hottest World Cup Players and the top 4 spots he wants to be touched, but Teen Vogue‘s talking interracial dating. (@racialicious)


“For the most part, we tolerate appearance-based discrimination as unfortunate but inevitable.” But in her new book, The Beauty Bias, Deborah Rhode proposes that discrimination based on looks should be policed in a similar way to racial, ethnic, gender, and disability discrimination. It might seem absurd, but her proof for America’s bias against what society sees as unattractive is certainly convincing. “In a survey, college students said that they would rather have a spouse who is an embezzler, drug user, or shoplifter than one who is obese, reports Rhode.” (@slate)


Outrage over a cow reveals gender policing for humans. “There is no such thing as a “wrong” sex or gender. People should be allowed to define themselves and their gender as they see fit. Same for cartoon cows.” (@columbiamissourian)

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. Confession: I have a strange obsession with male athletes, and would probably buy this month’s Cosmo if I walked by it/had any money.

    Sorry. I’m just ridiculously exited for the World Cup.

    “43% of Americans think homosexual relations between consenting adults are wrong” – that’s terrifying. It completely blows my mind.
    I can understand being uncomfortable around it, not understanding it, but thinking it’s wrong?


      I usually don’t watch soccer, but I am def gonna be up to 4am every night for the next two weeks yelling at the teevee and deciding which striker is gonna be my next husband.

      Carn the Socceroos!

      • YES!!

        I’m in the same time zone as South-Africa and I (almost) have summer vacation, so really? Perfect.

        I’m going to buy ridiculous amounts of food and drinks, put a television in my room, and make my girlfriend watch with me.

        [I just deleted a paragraph of rant. I love soccer. I know way too much about it.]

    • Let me point out, as Laura did, that it’s 44% of people who were at home with a landline. That’s going to catch a lot more SAHMs, older people, etc and really may not represent the population as a whole. Who do you know under 30 with a landline? I can only think of 3 people, and they’re hardly ever at home ’cause they have media jobs.

  2. i like how you say “artists like dollar sign” and it’s painfully obvious who you’re talking about. she should’ve picked a better name.

  3. I wonder what percentage of the people who were home during the day with a landline said Ellen.

  4. I check this site too many times in a day not to comment at least once and say: “it’s really cool to be up-to-date with all of this stuff, where else am I gonna get these deets collated so succinctly? thanks for being awesomestraddle”.

  5. I’m pretty sure that %100 of the people I know, know a gay person. Also, I think that we should run our own poll :)

  6. According to them, they called cell phones too:

    “This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1054 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone May 20-24, 2010. Phone numbers were dialed from random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.

    This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.”

  7. I hereby note my superiority as a lesbian mom. YAY. My whipsmart wife contributes this gem: “…and the remaining 23% are gay politicians currently in office?”

  8. >>if CBS called your Mamaw right now, what would she say?>>

    Well that would depend on the grandma – one would say, “Yeah, Dina’s cool, I’m going to her wedding next year.” The other would probably start gibbering about how I’m going against God’s plan for humanity and how I ruined her relationship with my mother. (She is not invited to my wedding.)

    • following my colleague announcing (declaring? she kind of hollered) my gayness to senior management at a business dinner, the COB/CFO told me that i am the first lesbian he’s ever been friends with and asked me if i wanted to be his wingman at a strip bar that night.

      all i am saying is that being out at work can be a good thing. not because i necessarily like going to strip bars with the boss of my boss, but because it was really cute when he called me his friend and that may not have happened if my coworker hadn’t had too much wine.

      also, i have family members and colleagues that stopped voting for the Conservative Party of Canada (the Tories are assholes when it comes to the gay) when i came out to them.

      so it works. not every time, not in every family, not in every company, i know that, i know how fucking lucky i am, but Harvey was also right about many many things.

      • ohhh comment fail. though if i add “dina, grandma #1 sounds adorably wonderful,” it will sort of be okay right?

  9. Oh, there is not a person I’m related to that doesn’t know my Mother has a gay daughter. My Mom called everyone in the family to tell them about how hard it is for her to have a gay daughter. I probably have second cousins I haven’t met that know my Mother has a gay daughter.

  10. I’m kind of tired of Israel always being called the “open” country of the middle east (especially considering all the questionable killings that go on there)


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