I have to disagree a bit with the premise.

I live in the West Village in NYC, and along with the Castro in San Francisco this is ground zero for the Gay Community. When you walk around here, and people are holding hands or smooching or whatever, it's a crap shoot whether they have the same gender.

Now, New York City is a tolerant place relative to the rest of America, and the West Village is a tolerant place w/r to the rest of New York, so the views of people around here (including me) are not at all representative of the nation as a whole. Nevertheless, living here makes you conclude that gay men are much better accepted than gay women. This is not the same thing as tallying the levels of violence against gay men vs. lesbians, since statistically men perpetrate most violence, and (let's face it) men don't like to beat up women, so that's not a particularly good way of measuring acceptance.

So how should we go about measuring acceptance? Part and parcel of acceptance is public visibility--this ought to have a reflexive, additive relationship to acceptance. One of the things you notice around here is that it's much more common to see two men involved in a public display of affection than women. Part of that observation is of course a selection bias, because there are nominally more gay male couples here than female. (I don't actually have statistics here, but it's commonly understood.) Either way, the amount and level of public display of affection is heavily slanted toward men, which is a good indication that they feel more comfortable doing it--i.e., more accepted.

Another measure of acceptance (and here we are back on a national level) is prevalence in the media. There have been gay male characters in the mainstream media (TV, movies) in much larger numbers than females. Granted, they started out appearing as crude stereotypes like every other marginalized group, but we are starting to get characters for whom being gay it is just another trait, like being from Norway or left-handed or something. Yet it was a really big deal when Ellen DeGeneres came out on TV, and when they staged a lesbian marriage ceremony on Friends; they got huge media attention not because they were already accepted, but because people hadn't really seen it before.

Finally, the AIDS crisis has made gay men much more visible than lesbians. While this has perhaps attached a stigma of disease (good source on this is Susan Sontag, AIDS and its Metaphors) to gay men, it has also mobilized them as a community into high-profile, politically powerful organizations like GMHC and ACT UP.

All this visibility helps, a lot. Most of the intolerance and hatred that people have comes from unfamiliarity, which leads to fear, which...I am beginning to sound like Yoda...leads to anger. It's human nature. So I would argue that in the long run visibility becomes acceptance. Straight people who move here from places without gay communities tend to freak out a bit at first, because it's something they've simply never seen before. But most of them don't bat an eye after six months. That kind of visibility is the only way prejudice gets eliminated.

So back to the subject of the node, I think that many lesbians would be surprised to hear that they are better accepted, just because they aren't getting teased or beaten up in the same numbers as men. Maybe they don't feel accepted enough to even come out of the closet in the first place...