International survey: how supportive would Britons be of a family member coming out?

Eir NolsoeData Journalist
August 31, 2021, 9:36 AM UTC

Most Britons would be accepting of a relative coming out although they are less supportive of transgender and non-binary people than those who are gay or bisexual

A new YouGov survey of eight western countries reveals how attitudes to LGBTQ+ communities differ.

In Britain, one in fourteen people (7%) identify as LGBTQ+, while a further three in ten (31%) are close to someone who does. However, a majority of Britons (55%) have no personal relation to the LGBTQ+ community.

Among the countries surveyed, Spain has the highest proportion of people who identify as LGBTQ+ (10%). A majority of Spaniards who are heterosexual (55%) also have a close relative or friend who is part of the LGBTQ+ community. This leaves only one in three people (33%) have no personal relation to people who are non-binary or bisexual, gay or lesbian.

Two thirds of Swedes (65%) don’t have any close friend or family member who is LGBTQ+ - the highest proportion among the countries in the survey.

An overwhelming majority of Britons would support a family member coming out

Some 85% of the British public say they would be supportive if their child, sibling or close family member came out as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while 6% would not be supportive. 

Seven in ten (71%) would feel the same about relative saying they were transgender or non-binary with one in eight (12%) saying they would not be supportive.

Spaniards are the most likely among the surveyed nationalities to say they would be supportive in both when it came to a family member coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual (91%) or transgender/non-binary (87%).

Meanwhile, France has the lowest levels of support. Only around three in five people in France (57%) say they would be supportive if a close family member came out as lesbian, gay or bisexual, while one in five say they would not (19%).

Around half (47%) would be supportive if their relative came out as transgender or non-binary, but one in four (27%) would not.

See the full results here