The number of people who identify as LGBTQ is on the rise.
Global analytics firm Gallup has released a new report on sexuality and gender identity in the United States of America. The big takeaway? The number of U.S. citizens who identify as LGBTQ is growing. Back in 2017, a similar report said that 4.5 percent of U.S. adults identified as LGBTQ, and this recent report says 5.6 percent of American adults say the same.
Breaking that group apart then reveals more. 54.6% LGBTQ respondents identified as bisexual, 24.5% identified as gay, 11.7% of respondents identified as lesbian, 11.3% identified as transgender. But that’s not all, 3.3% preferred to identify their sexual orientation as queer or same-gender-loving. Plus, respondents were allowed to give multiple responses, so some U.S. adults see themselves as fitting into several of these labels and others.
As Gallup wrote, “Currently, 86.7% of Americans say they are heterosexual or straight, and 7.6% do not answer the question about their sexual orientation. Gallup’s 2012-2017 data had roughly 5% ‘no opinion’ responses. The latest results are based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted throughout 2020 with Americans aged 18 and older. Gallup had previously reported annual updates from its 2012-2017 daily tracking survey data, but did not routinely measure LGBT identification in 2018 or 2019.”
One other important aspect to look at is the fact that younger generations, especially Generation Z, are more open and accepting to LGBTQ existence or identifying as LGBTQ. In fact, almost 1 in 6 Gen Z adults, people aged 18 and 23 during 2020, identifies as LGBTQ. One possible cause of this is that younger generations have better access to information about sexual orientation and gender identity.
“One of the main reasons LGBT identification has been increasing over time is that younger generations are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual,” Gallup explains in the report. “This includes about one in six adult members of Generation Z. LGBT identification is lower in each older generation, including 2 percent or less of Americans born before 1965 (aged 56 and older in 2020).”
Breaking down this generation further, we see that 72 percent of queer Gen Zers identify as bisexual. This means 11.5 percent of all Gen Z adults in the U.S. say they are bisexual. Then about 2% of queer Gen Zers identify as gay, 2% identify as lesbian, and another 2% identify as transgender.
“At a time when Americans are increasingly supportive of equal rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people,” Gallup writes, “a growing percentage of Americans identify themselves as LGBT. With younger generations far more likely than older generations to consider themselves LGBT, that growth should continue.”
“The pronounced generational differences raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of younger people to identify as LGBT.”