More Americans than ever are describing themselves as gay, bisexual, or transgender, Gallup reported today in a newly released poll.
The latest estimate, based on interviews during 2020 with 15,000 people over the age of 18, has 5.6 percent of Americans identifying as LGBT. This is a 1.1 percent increase over Gallup's last survey in 2017.
The poll results show an increased willingness to self-identify across all four categories: More people are willing to call themselves gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. As with Gallup's 2017 poll, the new survey data shows younger generations are far more willing to identify as LGBT. Millennials are three times more likely than older generations to identify as LGBT. Gen Z is actually five times more likely to identify as LGBT.
And among those millennials and zoomers, there's a big jump in those who identify as bisexual. Only 1.8 percent of Gen Xers identify as bisexual. A full 11.5 percent of Gen Z adults identify the same way. And there's a much greater number of millennial and Gen Z adults identifying as transgender than previous generations, though it's still a fairly small percentage.
This should be treated as good news for individual liberty. Resist the urge to see this necessarily as some sort of folly of youth or of the kids trying to be "trendy." While the percentages look big, it still only amounts to a small increase in the total population self-identifying as LGBT.
The reality is that for a significant amount of American history, especially the late 20th century, our culture has treated LGBT people as dangerous or deviant and therefore individuals were encouraged to suppress or just not act on non-heterosexual attractions. There's been an absolutely dramatic shift in acceptance of LGBT people over the past 20 years and so it should not be surprising to see a greater percentage of young adults willing to identify as LGBT.
The increase in the number of LGBT self-identification is a positive result of allowing people to define themselves and their sexual identities absent government pressures forcing them to conform to majority preferences in order to enjoy the same rights granted to everyone else.