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Twenty per cent of young people now identify as LGBTQ

By Ross Semple

A study conducted by GLAAD has found that one in five Americans between the ages of 18-34 identify as LGBTQ, compared with 12% of the total population. Only 5% of those aged over 72 call themselves LGBTQ.

There is an obvious generation gap in the findings, with Millennials being more than twice as likely to identify as LGBTQ as Baby Boomers. 12% of Millennials identify as transgender or gender non-conforming, compared to only 3% of Boomers.

The polling also found that young people are more likely to describe themselves as ‘Allies’ of the LGBTQ community, with 63% of those aged 18-34 compared to only 39% of those 72+.

GLAAD attributes the higher number of young people identifying as LGBTQ to overall increased acceptance: “This could be attributed to increasingly accepting environments, wherein for many people, family rejection is less frequent, job security is less at risk, and overall safety is less of a concern when coming out.

“Additionally, increased media visibility has, for the most part, led to a greater understanding of LGBTQ people, which has diminished stereotypes and stigma that fuel discrimination, making it generally less challenging for many young people to openly identify as LGBTQ.”

These findings are similar to those by Ditch the Label in February, in which 57% of those surveyed did not label themselves as ‘traditionally straight’.

Last summer, research by Terrence Higgins Trust showed that 99% of young people surveyed thought Sex and Relationship Education should be mandatory in all schools.

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