Source: Getty Images

New Survey Shows Queer Americans Feel Under Siege

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

The last few years have shattered records for anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures against the backdrop of a rising tide of hateful homophobic rhetoric. Unsurprisingly, a new survey shows that this is affecting the mental health of queer Americans, who feel that they "are facing 'a national state of emergency,'" The Daily Beast reported.

The report backgrounded that the new survey, conducted by Data for Progress (which describes itself as "a progressive think tank and polling firm"), found that a "majority of LGBTQ+ adults (53 percent) – including 79 percent of transgender adults and 65 percent of LGBTQ+ adults, ages 18 to 24 – said that recent anti-LGBTQ+ policies and rhetoric have negatively impacted their mental health."

The hardest-hit demographic are transgender Americans, who are also the subjects of most of the recent battery of anti-LGBTQ+ bills. This year alone has already seen 479 bills targeting the rights, access, health care, and personal freedoms of queer Americans, according to the ACLU. 16 of those bills have passed so far, all of them attacking the rights of transgender Americans and many of them specifically targeting transgender youth.

"Sixty-five percent of transgender adults said quality of life had gotten worse for LGBTQ+ Americans in the past year," the Daily Beast writeup noted. "Forty-four percent of transgender adults said that they have considered moving or already moved out of their community or state as a result of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation." Meanwhile, "Sixty-one percent of trans adults had heard anti-trans remarks from a family, friend, co-worker, or neighbor."

The social climate and legislative bullying has left transgender Americans fearful of even some of the most routine daily activities, the Daily Beast relayed, including "going to a new health care provider to receive care (73 percent); using a public bathroom (68 percent); going to non-LGBTQ+ bars or nightclubs (64 percent); and engaging in public displays of affection with their significant other (62 percent)."

If the "national state of emergency" for LGBTQ+ Americans sounds familiar, that might be because the Human Rights Campaign has declared just such a state of emergency to be ongoing in the United States – an unprecedented advisory that came about, the Daily Beast noted, "as a result of the more than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills that were signed into law in 2023."

"At the time, HRC called it 'an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses,'" the article continued.

And the trend has only continued as the U.S. heads toward the next presidential election this fall. A spokesperson for Data for Progress, Rob Todaro, addressed this in comments to the Daily Beast, pointing out that "Trans people are a small population of people, who have received so much attention from Republicans and right-wing media really trying to stir up hysteria to distract from Republicans' other unpopular policies."

Todaro went on to add, "Republicans want to make this election about transgender athletes and what healthcare trans kids and their families can and can't receive – to distract from the fact that Republicans want to cut Social Security and give tax breaks to the rich, and do anything Donald Trump says they should do."

More specifically, Todaro told the Daily Beast, "We know that LGBTQ+ young people are placed at significantly increased risks of mental health challenges and suicide because of the way they are treated."

"This poll shines a light on the real harm caused to people's lives by this barrage of attacks."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

Read These Next