Most LGBTQ Americans say things have gotten worse for gay, lesbian, and transgender people

Jamie BallardData Journalist
June 16, 2020, 2:00 PM UTC

Data from the latest Economist/YouGov poll finds that about one-third (34%) of US adults believe things have gotten worse for gay and lesbian Americans under the Trump administration.  

Americans who self-identify as LGBTQ are more likely (59%) to say that things have gotten worse for gay and lesbian people since Trump took office.  

 

About three in 10 (31%) LGBTQ people say things have stayed about the same since 2017, and 10 percent say things have improved for gay and lesbian people.  

Most LGBTQ people also believe that things have gotten worse for transgender Americans under the Trump administration.  

About two-thirds (65%) of LGBTQ people say things have gotten worse for transgender people since Trump took office. But Americans overall may not feel the same – only 36 percent of US adults say things have gotten worse for trans people in the last few years. Just over half (53%) of Americans say things have stayed the same for this group.  
 

Among US adults who personally know a transgender person, 51 percent say things have gotten worse for trans people in America. Another 36 percent say things have stayed the same for trans people since Trump took office, and 11 percent say things have gotten better.  

About three-quarters (74%) of Republicans think things have stayed about the same for transgender people under the Trump administration, and about one in five (18%) think things have improved for this group. Similarly, 64 percent of Republicans believe things have stayed roughly the same for gay and lesbian people in America over the last few years, and 29 percent think things have improved. Fewer than one in 10 Republicans says things have gotten worse for gay and lesbian people (7%) or transgender people (8%) since January 2017.  

Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, may have been considered more of an ally to the LGBTQ+ community when he was three years into his first term.  

In an Economist/YouGov poll conducted in June 2012, after Obama had been in office for about three years, 42 percent of Americans said they approved of how he was handling the issue of gay rights. Among respondents who either are LGBT themselves, or have a family member who is, 51 percent approved of how Obama was handling gay rights at this same point in his presidency. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll
 

Total unweighted sample size for this survey was 2,989 US adults, including 289 who said they identify as LGBTQ  based on the question "With which group do you most closely identify?" with response options "Straight," "LGBTQ," and "Prefer not to say". Margin of Error for the data on the LGBTQ sample is 7.8%. Margin of error for the survey overall is 2.4%. This survey was conducted online between May 31 and June 9, 2020. 

Related: Most LGBTQ Americans say President Donald Trump doesn’t care about their needs 

Image: The Gender Spectrum Collection