According to a Gallup survey released
Thursday, a record number of Americans identify as lesbian, gay,
bisexual or transgender (LGBT).
The portion of American adults
identifying as LGBT increased .6% in the last 5 years. In 2012, an
estimated 8.3 million people identified as LGBT. That figure reached
10 million in 2016.
Millennials, defined as people born
between 1980 and 1998, had the largest increase in LGBT
self-identification. In 2012, 5.8% of millennials identified at
LGBT. That percentage increased to 7.3% in 2016.
“It's likely that millennials are the
first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where
social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased,”
Gary J. Gates wrote. “This may be an important factor in
explaining their greater willingness to identify as LGBT. They may
not have experienced the levels of discrimination and stigma
experienced by their older counterparts. The perceived risks
associated with publicly identifying as LGBT might also be lower in
millennials than among other generations.”
A sharper increase was seen among women
than men. Between 2012 and 2016, LGBT identification among women
increased from 3.5% to 4.4%, while men increased from 3.4% to 3.7%.
Gallup also found that nonreligious adults are more than three times
more likely to identify as LGBT than those who are highly religious.