For years the far Right has been insisting that gay people comprise a mere one percent of the population—which somehow bolsters their belief that we don’t deserve equal rights. And for years we’ve worried that this claim would stick, and that would not be good. Worry no more: a recent Gallup survey showed that Americans on average believe that fully 25 percent of all people are gay; and a clear majority, 52 percent, believe that at least one in five is gay or lesbian. These figures are astonishing in light of recent studies that seem to be converging on a figure closer to four percent. How to account for this huge overestimate? Could it be that gays are perceived as such a Godzilla-like menace that their numbers are gigantized? But no, other polling has recorded a steady rise in acceptance of same-sex marriage and GLBT rights in general. Gallup attributes the overestimate to the high visibility of gay issues in the news of late. So activists have been right all along: it’s all about visibility. The more visible we are, the more of us there are. At some point, it seems there are just too many of us to hate.
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