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Accelerating Acceptance: GLAAD Study Reveals Twenty Percent of Millennials Identify as LGBTQ
- Last updated: May 24, 2023
GLAAD and Harris Poll shows Millennials more likely to identify as transgender or outside traditional genders
Acceptance of LGBTQ has slowed since the historic SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality
NEW YORK, NY – GLAAD, the world’s LGBTQ media advocacy organization, today unveiled its third annual Accelerating Acceptance report, a survey conducted on GLAAD’s behalf by Harris Poll, which shows that young people are significantly more likely to openly identify as LGBTQ than generations before them. The survey – fielded online November 2-4, 2016 among 2,037 U.S. adults ages 18 and older – also shows growing levels of young people who are more likely to identify outside of traditional binaries such as “gay/straight” and “man/woman.”
“As the administration begins to fulfill its pledges to move the country backwards, many are concerned about progress made in recent years for the LGBTQ community,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “However, this report shows a remarkable new era of understanding and acceptance among young people – an inspiring indication of the future. Though laws can be unwritten, hearts and minds in America have been changed for the better – and that is a reality less easily unraveled.”
Among Harris Poll’s key findings:
- Accelerating Acceptance 2017 survey shows that Millennials (people ages 18-34) are significantly more likely to openly identify as LGBTQ than generations before them. Specifically, Millennials are more than twice as likely (20% vs. 7%) to identify as LGBTQ than the Boomer generation (people ages 52-71) and two-thirds (20% vs. 12%) more likely than Generation X (people ages 35-51).
- The survey also found that 12% of Millennials identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, meaning they do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth or their gender expression is different from conventional expectations of masculinity and femininity — doubling the number of transgender and gender non-conforming people reported by Generation X (6%).
- While older generations (people ages 35+) of LGBTQ people largely use the words “gay” and “lesbian” and/or “man” and “woman” to describe their sexual orientation and gender identity respectively, Millennials appear more likely to identify in terminology that falls outside those previously traditional binaries.
- Interestingly, non-LGBTQ Millennials are also significantly less likely to know someone who identifies as “gay” or “lesbian” than generations before them, indicating that their LGBTQ peers largely describe themselves in words outside more traditional binaries.
- The survey shows that while acceptance of LGBTQ people remains high, progress has slowed since the landmark Supreme Court ruling, with rates of discomfort declining on average by 3% from 2014-2015 but going unchanged from 2015-2016.
This new data builds on GLAAD’s first two Accelerating Acceptance reports, which revealed significant levels of discomfort among non-LGBTQ people with their LGBTQ coworkers and neighbors. That report is available here: /publications/accelerating-acceptance-2016
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of GLAAD.
The 2016 survey was fielded from November 2-4, 2016 among 2,037 adults ages 18 and older. The non-LGBTQ sample was 1,708. Note: 100 respondents were not classified in regards to LGBTQA status because they declined to answer for gender identity and sexual orientation and therefore were not included in this analysis.
This online survey is not based on a probability sample and, therefore, no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About GLAAD: GLAAD rewrites the script for LGBTQ acceptance. As a dynamic media force, GLAAD tackles tough issues to shape the narrative and provoke dialogue that leads to cultural change. GLAAD protects all that has been accomplished and creates a world where everyone can live the life they love. For more information, please visit www.glaad.org or connect with GLAAD on Facebook and Twitter.
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