Most Americans would be supportive of a family member who came out as transgender or non-binary

Jamie BallardData Journalist
June 30, 2021, 3:00 PM UTC

Coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and/or queer can be an emotional experience for many people. New data from YouGov finds that many Americans say they would be supportive if a loved one came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community.  

In a YouGov poll of nearly 1,500 people, two-thirds (66%) say they would be very or somewhat supportive if their child, sibling, or other close family member came out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Far fewer (15%) say they would be somewhat unsupportive (6%) or not supportive at all (9%).  

Majorities of mothers (62%) and fathers (69%) to children under 18 say they would be supportive of a child or other close family member coming out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.   

A majority of Americans (57%) also say they would be supportive of a family member who came out as transgender (meaning someone whose gender differs from the sex they were assigned at birth) or non-binary (meaning someone who doesn’t identify as a man or a woman). About one in five (22%) say they would be somewhat unsupportive or not supportive at all.  

Half of mothers to children under 18 (54%) say they would be supportive if their child, sibling, or other close family member came out as transgender or non-binary. Three in 10 (28%) aren’t sure if they would be supportive or unsupportive, and 18% say they would not be supportive.  

Among fathers, about half (53%) would be supportive, and one-third (34%) say they would not be supportive, while 13% are unsure.  

Conservatives tend to say they would support a family member who came out as gay 

Close to nine in 10 liberals (88%) say they would be supportive if their child, sibling, or close family member came out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Among those who identify as moderate, 67% would be supportive. By 46% to 30%, conservatives say they would be supportive if their loved one came out as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.  

Conservatives are less accepting of the idea of a child or other family member coming out as transgender or non-binary. While one-third (33%) would be supportive of this, 43% say they would be somewhat unsupportive (14%) or not supportive at all (29%).  

More than four in five (84%) US adults who identify as liberal say they would be supportive of a child, sibling, or family member coming out as transgender or non-binary. Among moderates, over half (56%) say they would be supportive of this.  

See full results here.  

Related: Most Americans believe LGBTQ+ people face discrimination in the US

Methodology: 1,499 US adults, including 127 who personally identify as LGBTQ+, were surveyed between June 8 - 14, 2021. The responding sample is weighted to be representative of the US population.  

 
Image: Gender Spectrum Collection