The share of Americans who identify as LGBT reached a record 7.2 percent in 2022 after hitting 7.1 percent in 2021, up from 5.6 percent in 2020 and 3.5 percent in 2012, the year Gallup began collecting data on LGBT identification. Generation Z, defined as the group of adults born between 1997 and 2004, has a much higher share of its population identifying as LGBT than its older counterparts.
Nearly one in five (19.7 percent) members of Generation Z consider themselves part of the LGBT community, with 13.1 percent describing themselves as bisexual, 3.4 percent identifying as gay, 2.2 percent categorizing themselves as lesbians, 1.9 percent telling pollsters that they are trans-identified and 1.5 percent choosing the “other LGBT” category when asked about their sexual orientation.
The share of adults belonging to the LGBT community dropped in descending order by generation, with 11.3 percent of millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) having a significantly larger LGBT population than Generation X (3.3 percent), baby boomers (2.7 percent) and the silent generation (1.7 percent).
“With many more younger than older adults seeing themselves as something other than heterosexual, the LGBT share of the entire U.S. adult population can be expected to grow in future years,” Gallup Senior Editor Jeffrey Jones wrote. “However, this growth depends on younger people who enter adulthood in future years continuing to be much more likely to identify as LGBT than their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.”
Observers say one reason the numbers are growing among teens is the societal pressure to identify LGBTQ. From social media to popular movies and music, that age group is the biggest consumer of entertainment which pushes the lifestyles.
The findings of the Gallup survey appear consistent with the data collected in “Gen Z Post-Election Research” polls conducted by the Walton Family Foundation. That survey queried those between the ages of 15 and 17 in addition to adults. Only 75 percent of Generation Z respondents called themselves “heterosexual or straight,” compared to 92 percent of older adults. The most common identity adopted by members of Generation Z who do not consider themselves heterosexual was bisexual (9 percent), followed by “other queer identity” (4 percent), “transgender or non-binary” (4 percent), gay (2 percent) and lesbian (1 percent).
Among the respondents to the latest Gallup poll, just 4.2 percent identify as bisexual, followed by 1.4 percent who describe themselves as gay and 1 percent who classify themselves as lesbians. The trans-identified population sits at just 0.6 percent of the overall total and 8.8 percent of the LGBT community.
The trans-identified population has become a significant focus in American public policy as states take measures to require student-athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex and ban the genital mutilation of minors with gender dysphoria.
Other polls find that children who identify as the opposite gender grow out of the phase by early adulthood. In fact, 80 percent of children who question their gener at an early age, ‘grow out of it,” according to Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala — described as “Finland’s leading expert on pediatric gender medicine and chief psychiatrist at its largest gender clinic”. That fact has given fuel to critics of gender surgery and transition programs for children who say children should not be encouraged in harming themselves with surgery and hormones.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice