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A recent survey of 17,300 LGBTQ people found that 63% had already attended or plan on attending their hometown Pride celebrations in 2017, while only 47% said the same in 2016. That represents a 16% increase in Pride participation, which is a significant jump, but what is the cause? Could it be a response to last November’s election of Donald Trump?
It’s certainly possible. Among the survey’s other findings, 84% reported that Pride events across America are “as important as ever,” and 82% indicated they feared rollbacks of recent LGBTQ equality gains. Considering the current political climate, it’s easy to see why respondents feel that way.
Trump has already tried to roll back public bathroom rights for transgender students, has endorsed a healthcare plan that will hurt poor LGBTQ people and those living with HIV, hired an Education Secretary who is willing to federally fund anti-LGBT private schools and has signed a “religious liberty” executive order which will embolden religious conservatives to push for more anti-LGBTQ laws. Like the one recently passed in Texas, which allows federally funded, religious adoption agencies to turn away LGBTQ parents as well as Muslims, Jews and single parents (even though children raised in state and foster care end up costing society more due to higher rates of depression, drug addiction, criminality and overall unemployability).
It could also be that the LGBTQ community has sensed an increased importance in Pride events following last year’s Pulse tragedy in Orlando, Florida, or because of an overall increase in political march participation since Trump’s election.
The 11th annual LGBT Community Survey was conducted by Community Marketing & Insights (CMI), a company that has studied LGBTQ community trends since 1992. CMI will release a report on the full survey on July 5, but in the meantime it has said, “With recent political changes and uncertainty, LGBTQ pride events are taking on a renewed importance in 2017.” CMI anticipates record attendance at this year’s Pride events, something we’ve already seen in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Featured image by ovjo12 via iStock Photography