Number of adults who identify as LGBT has doubled in past decade, study finds

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(NEW YORK) — A new Gallup poll has found that the number of Americans who identify as something other than heterosexual has doubled in the last decade.

Currently, 7.1% of Americans consider themselves to have an LGBT identity, according to the study, which was based on aggregated 2021 data and included interviews with more than 12,000 U.S. adults. That figure is more than double from 3.5% in 2012.

Of the adults surveyed, 86.3% said they are straight or heterosexual, and 6.6% offered no opinion.

The study also revealed that while LGBT identification has been stable in older generations, it has risen significantly in younger generations. Over 20% of Gen Z adults — those born between 1997 and 1999 — identify as LGBT, followed by 10.5% of millennials, 4.5% of Generation X and 2.6% of baby boomers.

“The percentage of Gen Z who are LGBT has nearly doubled since 2017, when only the leading edge of that generation had reached adulthood. At that time, 10.5% of the small slice of the generation who were adults identified as LGBT,” Gallup said.

Finally, the research estimated that of all LGBT Americans, nearly 57% identified as bisexual. That percentage translates to 4% of all U.S. adults.

According to the research, bisexual is the most common LGBT status among Gen Z, millennials,and Gen X, while older Americans are about as likely to say they are gay or lesbian as to say they are bisexual.

Overall, 15% of Gen Z adults say they are bisexual, as do 6% of millennials and slightly less than 2% of Gen X.

Meanwhile, 21% of LGBT Americans say they are gay, 14% lesbian, 10% transgender and 4% something else. Each of these accounts for less than 2% of U.S. adults.

Jen Grosshandler, co-founder of The Gender Cool Project, a youth-led organization surfacing positive trans stories, told ABC News, “This is a moment in time to rally around. Every day I witness transgender and non-binary youth thriving in communities everywhere. Yes, there is work to be done, but this community is growing and will continue to grow.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, the president & CEO of GLAAD added, “Thanks to increases in visibility, representation and equality, more and more LGBTQ Americans are able to come out and live as our authentic selves. But the new data shows that we also have a lot of catching up to do before LGBTQ representation meets the needs of Gen Z, which is now 21% LGBTQ.”

“The facts are clear,” Ellis said. “Our community is growing, and we will take our seat at the table.”

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