LGBTQ Acceptance and Media Portrayal


LGBTQ Acceptance and Media Portrayal

by Alison Rash

This coming weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will be celebrating Pride in some of the largest gatherings around the world. In the United States alone, revelers in San Francisco, New York City and Seattle will come together to celebrate love, diversity and, of course, progress.

Quantifying Progress

When mulling over what I wanted to do for this Tableau visualization, I wondered what data I’d find. I struggled a little – in many cases, we’ve only recently begun collecting data about issues affecting LGBTQ people. However, I was fortunate enough to come across a page at Gallup’s website where many questions have been tracked over the years. All sorts of data about LGBTQ individuals serving in the military, or workplace discrimination, or whether same-sex marriage should be legal. Some questions have changed over the years; for example, questions about civil unions stopped being asked in 2005.

While browsing through this data, I thought of how 20+ years ago, there weren’t many publicly out LGBTQ individuals. In fact, it’s amazing to think when Ellen DeGeneres came out 21 years ago (21 years!), it was announced via a Time magazine cover story, an Oprah interview, a themed-episode of her sitcom. Today, such an announcement might warrant a tweet.

Visualizing the Results in Tableau

Looking at Gallup’s data, I started thinking about the relationship between media representation of LGBTQ individuals and how common it is to be “out” today. Honestly, I’m not sure which causes which, but both factors have clearly been at work to get us where we are today. With some guidance from a design rockstar (a.k.a. my coworker David Duncan), I made a data visualization using Tableau that shows some of those changes over the years.

Happy Pride, everyone!

More About the Author

Alison Rash

Enablement Consultant
LGBTQ Acceptance and Media Portrayal This coming weekend, hundreds of thousands of people will be celebrating Pride in some of the largest gatherings around the world. In ...

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