Gay and lesbian Britons tend to think the public has a favourable view of them, but bisexual and particularly transgender Britons feel less positivity from the public
A new YouGov survey shows that, among gay and lesbian Britons, 54% believe the public has a positive view of lesbian and gay people, with a further 26% believing they take a neither positive or negative view. One in five (19%) think the public have a negative view of homosexuals.
Among bisexual Britons, only 31% think the public see bisexuals in a favourable light. While 36% think Britons take neither a positive or negative view of bisexuals, 29% believe they take a negative stance.
When it comes to transgender Britons, most (56%) say the public has an unfavourable view of transgender people. Just 26% think it is neutral and 14% believe it is positive.
What do Britons say they themselves think of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people?
For their part, the British public express more positive views of the queer community than lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Britons expect.
Around half of Britons say they hold positive views of gay and lesbian people (54%) and bisexuals (50%), while 39% say the same of transgender people. A third or slightly more (33-39%) have a neutral view of each group.
Only 7% of Britons say they have a negative view of lesbian and gay people, and only marginally more have a negative view of bisexual Britons (9%).
Negativity towards transgender people is more apparent, with 25% of Britons admitting to holding such views, This is up from 16% in our previous study in 2021. This is perhaps unsurprising, given that a separate YouGov study last year found that Britons had become less likely to support trans rights.
There is more limited negativity towards transgender people among cisgender gay, lesbian and bisexual Britons. Only 8% of this group profess to having a negative view of trans people, compared to 75% who have a positive view and 17% a neutral view.
Cisgender lesbians and bisexual women in particular are likely to have positive feelings towards trans people, at 84%, including 66-68% who say “very positive”. This mirrors national polling which shows that women are generally more likely to hold pro-trans views than men.
What do Britons think the wider public thinks of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people?
But Britons do also expect that British society takes a more negative view of LGBT people than their own personal views would suggest.
While only 7% of Britons say they themselves have a negative view of gay and lesbian people, 21% of people believe that this is the predominant view in society. A similar number think the same of the public’s views towards bisexual people (22%).
In both cases, the plurality view is that the public have a neutral view of gay and lesbian (38%) and bisexual Britons (40%). Around a quarter think the public view is generally positive towards each group (24-28%).
The results are markedly different when it comes to transgender people. Fully half of Britons think the general public attitude towards trans people is negative (51%). This is up from 44% in 2021.
Only a quarter think the view is neutral (26%), and just 11% think the public are generally positive towards the transgender community.
The results show there is a clear tendency for people to think that the wider public holds the same view as them when it comes to gay and lesbian and bisexual people. For instance, when it comes to gay and lesbian people, 48% of Britons with a positive view of this group think the public does too; 58% of those with a neutral view think the populace likewise have a neutral view; and 44% of those with a negative view also believe most Britons have an unfavourable opinion of gay and lesbian people.
However, this effect is far weaker when it comes to transgender people. While it is true that people with a positive view of transgender people are the most likely to think the public also has a positive view, this figure is only 19%, with 54% believing the public has a negative view. People who hold a neutral view of transgender people are again the most likely to think the public does likewise (44%), but a similar 40% think the public has a negative view. Two thirds of Britons with a negative view of transgender people think the public feels the same way (66%).