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Poll: More Americans are identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans

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Posted at 1:01 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 13:02:29-05

A growing number of Americans consider themselves to be part of the LGBTQ+ community.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That estimate is up from 4.5% in Gallup’s previous update based on 2017 data.

The latest results are based on more than 15,000 interviews conducted throughout 2020 with Americans aged 18 and older.

Of the Americans polled last year, 86.7% of them said they’re heterosexual or straight and 7.6% didn’t answer the question about their sexual orientation.

The poll found that the majority of those in the LGBTQ+ community identify as bisexual – 54.6%. About 24.5% say they’re gay, 11.7% identify as lesbian and 11.3% are transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving. Respondents can give multiple responses when describing their sexual identification. So, the totals exceed 100%.

Rebasing these percentages to represent their share of the U.S. adult population finds 3.1% of Americans identifying as bisexual, 1.4% as gay, 0.7% as lesbian and 0.6% as transgender.

The poll found some generational trends as well. Gallup says the one of the main reasons more people have been identifying as LGBTQ+ is that younger people are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual.

LGBT identification is lower in each older generation, including 2% or less of Americans born before 1965.

The vast majority of Generation Z adults who identify as LGBT – 72% – say they are bisexual. Thus, 11.5% of all Gen Z adults in the U.S. say they are bisexual, with about 2% each identifying as gay, lesbian or transgender.

About half of millennials who identify as LGBT say they are bisexual. In older age groups, expressed bisexual preference is not significantly more common than expressed gay or lesbian preference.