Gallup’s most recent update on LGBT identification in America shows a massive increase in the number of young people who claim an LGBT identity. Almost one in 6 adult members of Generation Z (which would include those aged 18 to 23) claim to be something other than heterosexual.
With 15.6% of the entire Gen-Z demographic self-identifying as LGBT, that accounts for an enormous increase over the “traditionalists,” sometimes referred to as the “Greatest Generation,” that registered at just 1.3% LGBT.
Within this large LGBT contingent of Generation Z, almost three-quarters claim that they are bisexual, by far the largest subset within the LGBT acronym. When extrapolated outward, that means that just over 11% of all Americans aged 18-23 claim to be bisexual. Another 2.1% claim to be gay, 1.4% lesbian, 1.8% transgender, and 0.4% some other gender.
Sociologists and political observers debate what has caused the rather sudden uptick in non-traditional, heterosexual self-identification. LGBT activists say it is because society’s increasing openness and tolerance of alternative sexualities has made “coming out” a much less daunting prospect. They believe that the strikingly low number of older Americans identifying as LGBT is tremendously understated.
On the other side, conservatives and traditionalists suggest that LGBT activism has become so chic in pop culture that it has created a sexuality fad that provides a sense of belonging to young people who are eager to find meaning and a cause. They believe that the strikingly high number of young Americans identifying as LGBT is tremendously overstated.