Millennials Are America’s Queerest, Least Binary Generation Yet
The new “Accelerating Acceptance” poll released by GLAAD, conducted on their behalf by Harris Poll, shows that 20% of millennials (those aged 18-34, for the purposes of this poll) identify as LGBTQ, compared to 12% of Generation X (those aged 35-51) and 7% of Baby Boomers (those aged 52-71). This means millennials “are more than twice as likely to identify as LGBTQ as the Boomer generation, and 56% percent more likely to identify as LGBTQ than Generation X.”
Additionally, millennials are twice as likely to identify as transgender as Generation X. 2% of millennials identify as transgender compared to Gen X’s 1% and the Boomers’ >0.5%.
Millennials are also more likely to identify outside the traditional gender binary. 3% of millennials identify as agender, 3% as gender fluid, 1% as genderqueer, 1% as bigender, and 2% as unsure/questioning.
As for the gay/straight binary, millennials are also more likely to identify outside of that. 6% of millennials identify as bisexual, and 2% identify as pansexual, compared to 4% and 1% for Generation X and 2% and 1% for Boomers. 3% of both millennials and Generation X identify as strictly gay or lesbian, compared to 2% for Boomers.
In addition, millennials were far, far more likely to identify as asexual. 4% of millennials identify as asexual, compared to 1% for both Generation X and Boomers.
As GLAAD frequently points out in their results, these increases are most likely linked to “increased cultural acceptance and media visibility that oftentimes allows for an earlier and more sophisticated understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity as spectrums.”
Non-LGBTQIA millennials are also far more accepting of LGBTQIA people than ever before. GLAAD bucketed non-LGBTQIA respondents into three categories–allies, detached supporters, or resisters–“based on respondents’ comfort levels across seven surveyed LGBTQ-related situational questions.” In short, rather than allowing respondents to self-identify, GLAAD reviewed the ways that they would actually interact with LGBTQIA people in order to determine their attitudes. 63% of millennials and 53% of Generation X qualified as “allies,” meaning they were “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with all the situations, while 23%/36% qualified as “detached supporters,” meaning their comfort levels varied.
In their summary, GLAAD also puts forward these poll results as a call for hope under a hostile administration. “Though laws can be unwritten, hearts and minds in America have been changed for the better – and that is a reality less easily unraveled,” they wrote. “The LGBTQ community has a long history of demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, fighting to protect the people they love, and defending the core American value that all people are created equal.”
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