America’s View On LGBTQ Is Changing — You Can See It In The Comments Section
If you’ve ever been on the internet, you’ve probably been warned away from the comments section. This especially applies if you’ve read anything about Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, or Eric Garner. Unless you enjoy reading racial epithets and suggestions of genocide, you don’t want to read the comments. If you’re looking for changes in how the world views LGBTQ issues, though, the comments are exactly what you need to read.
LGBTQ acceptance is finally spreading, becoming the norm. Don’t misunderstand — this isn’t a claim that LGBTQ folks don’t still suffer discrimination, because there’s no question they do. Still, comment threads that once would’ve been dominated by anti-gay slurs, religious denouncements of homosexuality, and strange comments from people who don’t understand how genes work, no longer look the same.
These threads still include all of the above, but these comments are matched, sometimes even outnumbered, with comments promoting equality, comments suggesting that people shouldn’t put their noses in other people’s bedrooms, and comments denouncing discrimination.
Here’s an example for you — a local Fox affiliate shared a story in which Dr. Phil commented on Bruce Jenner’s transition, saying, “You’re almost 80, what’s the point?” Dr. Phil was joking, and went on to talk about Jenner’s right to do what worked for him, regardless of other people’s thoughts. Still, check out some of the top-rated comments.
That’s eight of the top comments, and half of them amount to, “It’s nobody’s business but Bruce’s.” Only two express opposition.
Here’s another example. California Representative Mike Honda tweeted support of transgender children, including a photo of his transgender granddaughter.
— Rep. Mike Honda (@RepMikeHonda) April 22, 2015
Unlike Facebook, tweeted responses aren’t easily deleted by a page moderator. Honda received 22 responses on this particular tweet. How many were negative?
One — and the troll factor on that one is through the roof.
The rest were overwhelmingly supportive.
@RepMikeHonda She's beautiful! God does not make mistakes. Be happy. You're a wonderful Grandpa! Sending our love to all of you.??????
— Ginger Lee (@themainepain) April 23, 2015
@RepMikeHonda She's so lucky to have such a supportive family! You're amazing. Thanks for speaking out!
— Frass E. Bones (@frassebones) April 23, 2015
Another case: AZ Central reported that Governor Doug Ducey ordered the Arizona Department of Child Safety to allow same-sex couples the same adoption rights as opposite-sex couples.
In the comments section, a few expressed the well-debunked fear that these children would be subject to molestation, but again, they were overwhelmingly positive. Here are the three top-rated comments on the article:
If you’ve been watching Pew Research Polls, you’ll know this reflects the data they’ve gathered, showing 60% of the U.S. population (80% of Canadians, more in parts of Europe) supporting the acceptance of homosexuality.
If, however, you’ve been living in the U.S. as an LGBTQ individual, or an ally, you’ve probably seen some ugliness that makes you wonder, and fear.
Those fears are not unfounded. Discrimination is still rife, and there are still laws being proposed, and in too many cases passed, to limit the rights of non-cis individuals. However, looking to the future, there is hope. Change is happening — and you can see it in the comments section.