More Americans Are Identifying As LGBTQ+ Than Ever, Poll Finds
More Americans are openly identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer than ever before, according to a new report.
The Gallup report shows that a total of 5.6% of Americans identified themselves as LGBTQ+, up 4.5% from data gathered in 2017.
Among those who did identify as LGBTQ+, 54.6% of respondents identified as bisexual, while 24.5% identified as gay and a further 11.7% as lesbians. Meanwhile, 11.3% identified as transgender and 3.3% said they use another term to describe their identity.
The results were calculated using interviews conducted throughout 2020 with more than 15,000 Americans aged 18 and above.
Interestingly, the study found that women are more likely to identify as LGBTQ+ than men, particularly when it comes to identifying as bisexual.
Meanwhile, political beliefs also appear to play a role in whether people regard themselves as LGBTQ+, with 13% of liberals identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer, compared to 4.4% of moderates and 2.3% of conservatives.
However, it appears as though in all areas and all walks of life, more and more Americans are openly considering themselves as LGBTQ+.
In the report, Gallup identified that one of the key reasons behind LGBTQ+ identification rising over the past few years is that younger generations are more likely to feel comfortable considering themselves as something other than heterosexual.
‘Younger people are growing up in an environment where being gay, lesbian or bisexual is not as taboo as it was in the past,’ Gallup Editor Jeffrey Jones told NBC News. ‘So, they may just feel more comfortable telling an interviewer in a telephone survey how they describe themselves. In the past, people would maybe be more reluctant.’
Around one in six adults from Gen Z (born between 1997 and 2012) identify as LGBTQ+, compared to just 2% of Americans born before 1965.
Meanwhile, the majority of Gen Z LGBTQ+ say they identify as bisexual (72%), making up 11.5% of all Gen Z adults in the US.
However, it’s important to note that the results taken from the 15,000+ sample size doesn’t necessarily reflect all LGBTQ+ people in the country, as the poll requires people to openly self-identify, which not all LGBQT+ may feel comfortable to do.
‘What they’re trying to come up with is the people who self-identify. It’s a measure of identity, not behaviour or feelings or some other measurements we might use. They weren’t trying to count all the people in the closet,’ demographer Gary Gates explained.
There are many different reasons a person may or may not identify themselves as LGBTQ+, including personal circumstances, socio-economic background and the political spectrum of the country at that given time.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 10am–6pm Monday to Friday, or email [email protected]
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