More Americans identify as LGBT than ever before, including 15% of Gen Z adults: Poll

According to the poll, 1 in 6 (15%) adult members of Gen Z self-identify as LGBT.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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NEW YORK -- A newly released poll shows that 5.6% of American adults now identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

The analytics firm Gallup reported that their current estimate of self-identified gay and trans Americans is up from 4.5%, based on their previous 2017 data.

More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving.

The poll, released Wednesday, found that younger generations are far more likely to identify as LGBT, especially Gen Z. One in six adult Gen Z-ers (ages 18 to 23 in 2020) do not consider themselves to be heterosexual.

This percentage decreases with age, with 2% or fewer Americans born before 1965 identifying as LGBT, according to Gallup.

Gallup noted that it cannot determine whether the generational differences reflect a true shift in American sexual orientation or if more younger people are willing to identify as gay, trans or other in a country that's increasingly more accepting of LGBTQ+ rights.

Conversely, Gallup acknowledged that the poll cannot represent the population of non-heterosexual adults who do not want to acknowledge an LGBT orientation.

Along with a generational divide, gender differences are seen in self-reported sexual identity. Women are more likely than men (6.4% to 4.9%) to identify as LGBT, and the majority who do call themselves bisexual (4.3%). Among non-heterosexual men, the majority identify as gay (2.5%).

"This poll confirms what we have long known -- that the LGBTQ community is powerful and a growing force in the United States, and around the world," said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign. "Young adults, in particular, feel empowered to publicly claim their identities -- a compelling finding and validation for the past generations of LGBTQ advocates who have long fought for full equality."

The polling is based on 15,000 interviews conducted throughout 2020 with Americans aged 18 and older.