Does Age Have a Role in the Way People Respond to LGBTQ Issues?

When LGBTQ issues are raised, the responses to them can vary significantly.  While of course some of the differences are based on the specific issue at hand, there are a host of other factors that impact the ways in which individuals respond - including age.

First, it is important to recognize that people, in general, are going to be hesitant in accepting the unfamiliar. Individuals who are much older were raised in a time when LGBTQ issues were not public.  In fact, many who identified as LGBTQ were not “out”. The discrimination was so significant (so much worse than today) that individuals simply hid their true identities.

Before 1960, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders included homosexuality. It’s no wonder people weren’t openly gay.  In fact, the Stonewall Riots, which took place in 1969, may have been many people’s first introduction to even the idea of gay rights.

As time has passed, the LGBTQ community has grown in size and made great strides in obtaining very basic rights. But, things are not “equal” and unfortunately, discrimination and violence exist. That said, younger people, in general, tend to be more accepting - perhaps because they have grown up in a society where being LGBTQ is more visible.

Of course, some young people are just as close-minded as the older generation. This is often a result of their upbringing. When raised in an environment where parents and grandparents are not willing to support LGBTQ issues - it’s not surprising that younger people may share their views.

Support For LGBTQ Issues

By the same token, because younger people have had more exposure to the LGBTQ community, and many can count those who identify as LGBTQ among their friends or family, they may be more supportive of their issues. They have seen, firsthand, that who you love is less important than the fact that you are able to love and that all of those who love should be afforded the same rights.

Additionally, they may be more accepting of different identities, including those regarding gender. Once again, gender identity is a personal issue - one which is incredibly important to that specific individual and their friends and family.  But outside of that group, people are people, and accepting them for who they are in general seems to be easier for those who are younger.  

So many behaviors are learned, and the fact that the younger generations as a whole are more accepting than those who are older bodes well for our community.  As more people are willing to share their true selves, and more people are accepting of them - the community will have more support for the LGBTQ issues most important to it.

At Rainbow Depot we are proud to support those issues important to the LGBT community. We understand their importance and are committed to continuing to advocate on behalf of our family, friends, neighbors, and clients.