Study: TV Shapes Public's Perception of Gays and Lesbians


In a poll conducted by Bravo's, the first broadband channel targeted to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, television trumped religion as far as how Americans shape their opinions of gay and lesbian lifestyles.

Almost half of those polled (47%) said that TV had the most influence on their perception of the community, while religion came in at a distant second (34%).

As far as actors coming out of the closet, those polled professed the most surprise at How I met Your Mother's Neil Patrick Harris' revelation (47%); 'N Syncer Lance Bass was second at 19%.

Other findings: 75% of those polled said that knowing if an actor or actress were gay would not affect whether they would watch a show the performer was in; 10% thought there should be more gay characters on TV; 66% think the media report too much on gay and lesbian celebrities; 74% think society has become more accepting of gay and lesbian celebrities; and 43% said American viewers were not ready to see transgender characters on TV and never would be.

Bravo teamed with gay-targeted media/entertainment company PlanetOut Inc. to launch in March.