Congratulations to America, Which Is Now Gayer Than Ever

Illustration for article titled Congratulations to America, Which Is Now Gayer Than Ever
Image: MOLLY RILEY/AFP (Getty Images)

Not a ton of good stuff is happening in the U.S. right now, with a truly staggering number covid deaths, vaccine rollout delays, and, fuck, you know, just all the rest of it. But one nice thing is that a record number, 18 million, Americans now feel comfortable identifying as LGBTQ.

Advertisement

According to a Gallup poll, 5.6 percent of American adults now self-identify as LGBTQ, a lovely 60 percent increase from 2012-2020. Leading the charge, as always, is Gen Z, aged 18-23, of whom one in six identifies as LGBTQ, while less than 2 percent of those born before 1965 identified the same way. Among those who identified as LGBTQ, 54.6 percent identified as bisexual, 24.5 percent as gay, while 11.7 percent are lesbians, and 11.3 percent identified as transgender, with three percent reporting identifying as queer or pansexual. Women were more likely to identify as LGBTQ overall and were more likely to identify as bisexual regardless of age.

Now, of course, there isn’t some sort of influx of newly LGBTQ people popping up out of the American woodwork. More people are likely now self-identifying with the correct terms because, while it is still very, very dangerous for many, it is a bit less dangerous than it has been in any other time in American history:

“Less than 20 years ago, just being in a same-sex relationship could be a crime. Now, LGBTQ people can marry the person they love, and the supreme court found just last year that it’s not legal to fire someone just for being LGBTQ,” Ineke Mushovic, the executive director of the LGBTQ rights group Movement Advancement Project, said in an interview with USA Today.

While it remains tremendously difficult, and far too often deadly, to be a human being in America, at least a lot more people seem to feel comfortable expressing who they truly are than they did just a few years ago. 

DISCUSSION

And because this is based on people self-identifying as being LGBTQ the numbers are almost definitely higher. A few years ago a data analysis of American’s online habits suggested that at least 5% of American men were gay and, unsurprisingly, people were more likely to identify as being gay in more tolerant states.

This news is promising, but we still have a long way to go when something as basic as the Equality Act is almost unanimously opposed by Congressional Republicans.