The number has shown a steady increase over the past five years; in November 2010 and April 2009, 49 percent of respondents said they were close to a gay or lesbian person, and in August 2007, it was 45 percent. A similar CNN/Time poll from October 1998 showed 41 percent of people answered yes to the question, up from 32 percent in June 1994.
The positive trend corresponds with increasing support of same-sex marriage, lending to the theory that people are more likely to support LGBT rights if someone close to them is gay, lesbian or transgender.
Pro-gay rights publication The Advocate wrote the poll shows the power of coming out.
54 percent of participants in the nationwide poll said gay and lesbian couples' marriages should be recognized by the law, up from 53 percent in September 2011, 51 in April 2011, and 44 in 2009 and 2008.