June 28, 2013

How important are pride events to the LGBT community?

gay-pride-1June is LGBT pride month and multiple cities—including Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Seattle—will hold annual events this weekend. But at a time when society is becoming more accepting of homosexuality, how important is it for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people today to show their support at these public events (which began as annual reminders of the Stonewall riots)?

A recent Pew Research Center survey of LGBT Americans found that among LGBT adults, gay men (72%) are the most likely to have ever attended a pride event, followed by lesbians (61%) and bisexuals (33%). When it comes to more recent attendance, roughly equal shares of gay men (29%) and lesbians (23%) had attended a pride event in the 12 months prior to the survey, compared with just 9% of bisexuals. The survey also found that gay pride events are more likely to be attended by those who say their sexual orientation or gender identity is “extremely” or “very” important to their overall identity (66%), than those who view their sexual orientation as less important to their overall identity (45%). Our survey was conducted from April 11-29, 2013, prior to the beginning of this year’s LGBT pride month.

gay-pride-2In our survey, LGBT adults said pride events are important to making society more accepting, but not as important as some other things, such as people knowing someone who is LGBT and well known public figures who are LGBT or who support LGBT rights. Still, about three-quarters of LGBT adults think LGBT pride events help make society at least a little more accepting of the LGBT population, with about three-in-ten LGBT adults (28%) saying LGBT pride events help “a lot” with social acceptance and about five-in-ten (48%) saying these events help “a little.”

Within the LGBT community, views on the importance of LGBT pride events vary. While about three-in-ten gay men, lesbians and bisexual women think these events help advance social acceptance of LGBT Americans “a lot,” only 12% of bisexual men say the same.

And LGBT adults who have attended a pride event are somewhat more likely than those who have not to say these events help promote social acceptance of LGBT Americans—about eight-in-ten (83%) of those who have attended a pride event say they help at least a little, compared with 71% who have never attended an LGBT pride event.

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality

  1. Photo of Eileen Patten

    is a former research analyst focusing on Hispanic, social and demographic trends at Pew Research Center.


  1. Lynn2 years ago

    This is so great! I had no idea. I thought I was alone.

  2. Zen4 years ago

    Why should bisexuals be even in the equation and be classified with gays and lesbians? Bisexuals by definition are just unfaithful to any single partner. They can easily be in the mainstream, married the opposite sex and have children while having affairs with other men or women.

    1. Aravindh Chidambaram4 years ago

      “Bisexuals by definition are just unfaithful to any single partner”

      Misconception. Whose definition?

    2. Mady4 years ago

      Bisexuals are people that feel attraction to both males and females, not people that have sex with everyone they have the chance to do it with. Someone doesn’t cheat because of their sexuality, they cheat because of their own individual choices. What you’re saying is like saying a straight person will, no questions asked, cheat on their significant other with anyone of the opposite sex. It’s also like saying a gay guy will, no questions asked, cheat on their boyfriend with another guy. It’s also like saying a lesbian will, no questions asked, cheat on their girlfriend with another girl. The LGBT community is about love and acceptance, not hate and prejudice.

  3. Amett4 years ago

    I love that they have the Gy, Lesbian, and Bisexual. But what about the T? This really pisses me off.

    1. Eileen Patten4 years ago

      Hi Amett, unfortunately we had too few transgender respondents to generate statistically significant findings about this subgroup. However, the data on “All LGBT” includes transgender people. You can read a more detailed explanation in our Note on Transgender Respondents found here: pewsocialtrends.org/2013/06/13/a…

  4. P4 years ago

    I’m probably one of the few who will openy admit this, but I prefer the days when it was LGT. Too many “het couples on the prowl for occasional threesomes” sour the events. Pick a side of the fence, hop over, and start living.

    1. bi4 years ago

      I’m appalled by your ignorance. We aren’t on a fence, we’re enjoying life in the middle of a field.

    2. Chris4 years ago

      Its very possible that you can like both genders equally. Its not a case of picking a side of the fence. Comments like yours like yours are just as ridicules as the “Why did you CHOOSE to be gay” farce.

  5. Cecil4 years ago

    As a bisexual male this is my genera experience as to the helpfulness to me of pride events. I try to stay in touch with the community year round and maybe do a dance or something in June. I feel as rejected by the LGBTQ community as I do by the Hetero community.

    1. Ramona4 years ago

      I have found Pride events to be fun, educational, and helpful. As a straight, married, mother of two sons (one of whom is female to male transgender), I attend Pride events with my husband and kids. It’s a great way to meet new people, find resources or support for my family, and to show our support for our son and the entire LGBTQ community. These events also give our son an opportunity to meet other teens dealing with similar issues.
      As for some in the LGBTQ community not being respectful of one another, I am at a loss. We should all be seeking, within ourselves, to be more compassionate and understanding towards others each and every day.