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At the same time, however, a new nationally representative survey of 1,197 LGBT adults offers testimony to the many ways they feel they have been stigmatized by society.About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity; 30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened; 29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship; and 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer.About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes.Also, just 56% say they have told their mother about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 39% have told their father.There are many challenges in estimating the size and composition of the LGBT population, starting with the question of whether to use a definition based solely on self-identification (the approach taken in this report) or whether to also include measures of sexual attraction and sexual behavior. Other recent survey-based research reports have made estimates in the 3.5% to 5% range.This report makes no attempt to estimate the share of the U. However, all such estimates depend to some degree on the willingness of LGBT individuals to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity, and research suggests that not everyone in this population is ready or willing to do so.It shows, among other things, that bisexuals are younger, have lower family incomes and are less likely to be college graduates than gay men and lesbians.
The survey was conducted April 11-29, 2013, and administered online, a survey mode that research indicates tends to produce more honest answers on a range of sensitive topics than do other less anonymous modes of survey-taking. The survey finds that the LGBT population is distinctive in many ways beyond sexual orientation.
For those who say they now know for sure that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, that realization came at a median age of 17.
Among those who have shared this information with a family member or close friend, 20 is the median age at which they first did so.
Compared with the general public, Pew Research LGBT survey respondents are more liberal, more Democratic, less religious, less happy with their lives, and more satisfied with the general direction of the country.
On average, they are younger than the general public.