Despite the progress we've made in terms of LGBTQ acceptance, public displays of affection unfortunately still aren't always easy or safe for queer couples.
The survey, which included nearly 600 respondents from the LBGTQ community, also found that 45% of participants said that since Donald Trump was elected President, they felt like they have been treated with even greater discrimination because of their sexuality or gender identity.
While the survey doesn't delve into why people felt uncomfortable with displaying affection openly, it's not hard to understand — especially since Trump's administration has been rolling back rights for LGBTQ people. In July, the Justice Department said in a federal lawsuit that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination. Additionally, the administration took away school bathroom rights for transgender students, failed to publicly acknowledge Pride Month, and targeted transgender workers.
Plus, even without discrimination at the federal level and political setbacks, LGBTQ couples still have plenty of reason to feel unsafe or uncomfortable holding hands in public. Just two years ago, a lesbian couple was allegedly arrested in Hawaii for daring to hold hands at a grocery store. And that's not to mention the dirty looks that queer couples still get from some people around them when showing public displays of affection.
Holding someone's hand may be a simple gesture, but the reality is that many people still don't feel safe doing so — clearly, there's still so much more work to be done.
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