California; Hayward — Of all the generations in the LGBTQIA+ community, Gen Z has the biggest presence according to NBC News. A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveals a significant shift in the demographics of LGBTQIA+ identification, particularly among Gen Z adults in the United States.
The survey, which included over 6,600 participants and was conducted in August and September, found that more than 1 in 4 Gen Z adults, defined as those aged 18 to 25, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQIA+). This percentage is remarkably higher than other age groups, with 28% of Gen Z adults identifying as LGBTQIA+, compared to 10% of all adults, 16% of Millennials, 7% of Gen X, and 4% of both Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation.
The breakdown of LGBTQIA+ identity within Gen Z adults reveals that 72% identify as straight, 15% as bisexual, 5% as gay or lesbian and 8% as something else. Additionally, the survey highlights the increased racial and ethnic diversity within Gen Z, as well as their tendency to be less affiliated with established religions compared to older generations. Interestingly, Gen Z adults, along with Millennials, are more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+ than as Republicans.
These findings align with other major surveys, including Gallup's, which also underscore Gen Z as the queerest* adult generation. Gallup's poll from February of the previous year reported that 7.2% of U.S. adults identify as LGBTQIA+, with nearly 20% of those falling within the Gen Z age range of 19 to 26.
However, this demographic shift comes at a time when LGBTQIA+ rights are facing increased challenges in the U.S. The survey notes that over 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills were introduced in state legislatures last year, marking a record, and 75 of these bills were signed into law. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) projects that more than 320 bills related to LGBTQIA+ issues were prefiled or introduced in the current state legislative sessions.
In response to these challenges, LGBTQIA+ advocates emphasize the importance of visibility, particularly among Gen Z. Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQIA+ advocacy group in the country, emphasizes the impact of LGBTQIA+ young people turning 18 each day, indicating potential consequences for anti-LGBTQIA+ political actions in the upcoming elections.
*Once considered a slur, the use of queer has been embraced by Gen Z.
Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Hayward, CA who covers culture and entertainment.
Edited by Nykeya Woods