New polling from Gallup shows 5.6% of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT. That’s an increase from 4.5% shown in Gallup’s previous 2017 survey.
Currently, 86.7% of Americans say they are heterosexual or straight, and 7.6% do not answer the question about their sexual orientation. Gallup’s 2012-2017 data had roughly 5% “no opinion” responses.
Based on 15,000 interviews of Americans 18 or older, the identity question has been updated to allow respondents to indicate their precise sexual orientation. Previously, respondents could merely answer yes or no as to whether they identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.
Among LGBT adults – 54.6% identify as bisexual, 24.5% say they are gay, 11.7% raise their hands 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.
Gallup notes that “younger generations are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual.”
This includes about one in six adult members of Generation Z (those aged 18 to 23 in 2020).
Back in 1977, when the U.S. National Gay Task Force was invited to meet with President Jimmy Carter’s representatives at the White House, founder/scientist/director Bruce Voeller of the NGTF declared that 10 percent of the population is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Voeller based his estimate on the work of noted ‘sexologist’ Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s and 1950s.
Estimating there are approximately 11.3 million adult LGBTs living in the U.S., the data shows that the highest concentration of LGBT people – 9.8% – live in Washington, D.C.
(image via Williams Institute)
The rest of the top ten states (Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, California, Washington, Vermont, New York, Maine and New Hampshire) range from 5.6 percent to 4.9 percent in concentration.
North Dakota appears to have the smallest percentage of LGBTs with only 2.7 percent.
In terms of socioeconomic indicators, the respondents who identified as LGBT say they are:
• Slightly more likely to be unemployed (9% versus 5% non-LGBT)
• Slightly more likely to be uninsured (15% versus 12% non-LGBT)
• Admit to being ‘food insecure’ more than non-LGBT (27% versus 15%)
• More likely to have household income below $240,000 (25% versus 18% non-LGBT)
Fifty-eight percent of the LGBT respondents were female, while 42 percent were male.
Fifty-six percent of self-identified LGBTS were under the age of 35, while only 23 percent were 50 or older.
Kerith Conron, research director at the Williams Institute told Reuters, “Younger people are more likely to actually live as LGBT and to identify that way because they are growing up in a time when it’s more acceptable to acknowledge those feelings and to act on them.”
Addressing the overall lower percentage of LGBTs than previously assumed, Conron added a caveat:
“In surveys that are more anonymous and private, closer to 10 percent of respondents say they have some level of same-sex attraction even if they stop short of identifying themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual.”
To find out more info regarding your state, click over to the Williams Institute’s website here where you can find an interactive map showing population percentages, percentage of LGBT parents and more.
For the first time ever, TV data tracking service Nielsen has begun to report the television viewing habits of LGBTQ Americans.
Working in conjunction with GLAAD, Nielsen is now measuring the viewing habits of households with same-sex couples, whether they are spouses or unmarried partners.
The first results show that what we watch varies a bit from the general television viewing audience.
For instance, the top four shows for all viewers for the week ending September 30, 2018, were:
1. Manifest (NBC)
2. The Big Bang Theory CBS)
3. NCIS (CBS)
4. This Is Us (NBC)
But, for same-sex households, the top four shows were:
1. Murphy Brown (CBS)
2. Manifest NBC)
3. American Horror Story (FX)
4. This Is Us (NBC)
S0, there’s some crossover in the Top 4s with Manifest and This Is Us, but things diverge from there.
The cast of ‘Manifest’
When it comes to the Top 20 shows preferred by same-sex households, eight shows don’t appear at all in the general viewers’ Top 20: Murphy Brown, American Horror Story, Modern Family, Mom, 9-1-1, Rachel Maddow Show, Grey’s Anatomy, Empire and Law & Order: SVU. It’s easy to see why many of those are of interest to the LGBTQ community. Modern Family, American Horror Story, Empire and 9-1-1 all have gay leading characters. And Rachel Maddow is openly lesbian.
Conversely, some of the most popular shows on television like Blue Bloods, Bulland NCISdon’t show up in our Top 20.
According to USA Today, the new data collection is only including households with same-sex couples, not individuals, out of sensitivity to “privacy concerns.” Nielsen hopes to incorporate individuals eventually.
Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD’s president and CEO, said in a statement, “We are at the highest levels ever reported for LGBTQ inclusion on television, and it’s important that we know American audiences are connecting with these characters and shows.”
“We appreciate Nielsen’s commitment to ensuring that LGBTQ people wherever they live and consume television are being counted, and that those numbers are being reported,” she added. “GLAAD is proud to work alongside them as they continue to expand and enhance their capabilities.”
Here are the Top 20 television shows watched by households with same-sex couples for the week ending September 30, 2018 (via USA Today):
1. Murphy Brown (CBS)
2. Manifest (NBC)
3. American Horror Story (FX)
4. This Is Us (NBC)
5. The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
6. The Good Doctor (ABC)
7. Modern Family (ABC)
8. The Big Bang Theory (special) (CBS)
9. The Voice (NBC)
10. Young Sheldon (CBS)
11. Mom (CBS)
12. 9-1-1 (Fox)
13. 60 Minutes (CBS)
14. The Voice (Tues) (NBC)
15. Young Sheldon (special) (CBS)
16. Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC)
17. Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
18. New Amsterdam (NBC)
19. Empire (Fox)
20. Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
What do you think, readers? Are your favorite shows in this Top 20? (h/t USA Today)
According to Gallup’s daily tracking poll in 2017 (based on over 340,000 interviews), the percentage of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) rose to 4.5% in 2017, up from 4.1% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2012 when Gallup began tracking the measure.
The two biggest stats to note are: more people are identifying as LGBT than ever before, and the biggest surge in those who see themselves as LGBT are in the younger age demographics.
The biggest one year jump came in the millennials age group (born between 1980 and 1999) which showed an increase from 7.3% in 2016 to 8.2% in 2017. That’s the largest one-year increase since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2012.
Gen Xers (born 1965 to 1979) bumped up a tad from 3.2% in 2016 to 3.5% in 2017.
There was no change for Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) who maintained a steady 1.4% identifying as LGBT.
And, yes, there is a gender gap. More women (5.1%) see themselves as LGBT compared with only 3.9% of men.
When it comes to race, Hispanics (6.1%) were more than a percentage point more likely to identify as LGBT than other ethnic groups – Black (5.0%), Asian (4.9%) and White (4.0%).
Since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2012, LGBT identification has been and is more common among those with lower incomes. The income gap was even larger in 2017 than it has been in previous years, with 6.2% of those making less than $36,000 a year in household income identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of those making $90,000 or more.
LGBT demographic experts say younger people who are LGBT are feeling more and more comfortable over time with their sexual orientation, and thus are more likely to identify as such.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends LGBT Pride
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally apologize in the House of Commons in Ottawa this afternoon for the Canadian gay purge of the 1950s.
The “purge” began in the mid-20th century amid fears that the Soviet Union would be able to blackmail LGBTs for their private lives. Homosexuality was illegal in Canada until 1969.
In addition to the official apology, the government will offer reparation of over $100 million to those who were affected during the time.
The Canadian government will also donate $250,000 to LGBT charities that spotlight anti-LGBT discrimination and homophobia.
Legislation will be introduced that will allow Canadians to apply for removal of criminal records for convictions in the past, and families of those deceased will be able to do so as well to clear their loved ones’ names.
Canada is following the lead of several other major countries who have reflected on the poor treatment of LGBTs.
• Cirque du Soleil Zumanity performer & super-dad Wayne Skivington (above) gets his workout on with his adorable son.
• Vice President Pence is putting some space between himself and Donald Trump Jr.:”The Vice President was not aware of the meeting. He is not focused on stories about the campaign, particularly stories about the time before he joined the ticket.”
• Nearly two-thirds of American LGBTs feel less safe under President Trump.
• You have to stop, drop and scroll down to watch this awesome father of a 14-year-old transgender boy, Ashur, in Texas.
Ken Ballard speaks movingly about his son who has attempted suicide twice while coming to terms with being transgender and the anxiety about telling his parents and being accepted. Fortunately, Ashur is now living his authentic self and his parents love him unconditionally.
“I would rather have my son be alive than bury my daughter,” says Ken.
The editorial board of the New York Times addresses the “L.G.B.T. Trump fallacy:”
It was a jarringly unorthodox moment even for Donald Trump. At a rally in Colorado last October, an audience member handed him a gay pride flag that bore a handwritten endorsement: “LGBTs for TRUMP.” The candidate smiled as he unfurled the flag, displaying it for a few seconds. A spokesman later said Mr. Trump was “proud to carry the ‘L.G.B.T. for Trump’ rainbow flag on stage,” since he was campaigning to be “president for all Americans.”
It didn’t take long for prominent gay Republicans to proclaim that the Republican Party had, at long last, turned a corner on gay rights under Mr. Trump. After he was elected, some gay rights activists held out hope that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president’s daughter and son-in-law, would be staunch allies in the West Wing, considering that they had traveled in liberal circles in New York.
Yet, the nomination of several key officials, who have disparaged the L.G.B.T. community and sought to curtail the rights of its members, has exposed the narrative that Mr. Trump would be a champion of gay and transgender people as a fallacy. “It has been a catastrophe,” said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and a leading strategist behind a string of legal and policy victories the community achieved during the Obama administration. “Every twitch we’ve seen from the administration has been anti-L.G.B.T.”
From there, the op-ed lists just some of the ways Trump has actually u-turned on LGBT issues by the personnel decisions he’s made like Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversing course on transgender protections; the shift from openly gay Army Secretary Eric Fanning to Trump’s choice, Mark Green, who has called being transgender “a disease;” and new Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who has been a vocal opponent of LGBT rights for years.
If the ACA is repealed, as Republicans are trying to do, not only would 32 million people lose health care, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but LGBTs would be disproportionately affected. And “disproportionately affected” is a phrase which here means “get sick and die.”
For example, HIV treatment can cost thousands of dollars per month. Insurance companies that don’t want to pay for that treatment could just refuse to cover all gay people on the basis that gay men are more likely to be HIV positive. Or they could raise monthly premiums just for gays. Or they could create a lifetime cap, so you pay into their system and then as soon as you need expensive treatment, they drop you. All this was legal until the ACA banned it.