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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 24, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 34
Fourteen percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ, new study says
Section One
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Fourteen percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ, new study says

The figure is 22% among Latinx millennials

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Fourteen percent of millennials identify as LGBTQ, according to a new study by the GenForward Survey project at the University of Chicago. The study also found that a higher proportion of Latinx millennials identify as LGBTQ than is true for other ethnic groups.

The new data challenge previously held ideas about the size of the LGBTQ population. A 2016 Gallup survey found only 4.1% of the general population identifying as LGBTQ.

The GenForward study is also 'the first of its kind,' the researchers say, because it 'pays special attention to the ways race and ethnicity influence how young adults or millennials experience and think about the world.'

'Given the importance of race and ethnicity for shaping the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of young people, we believe researchers make a mistake when they present data on young adults in a manner that assumes a monolithic millennial generation and young adult vote,' researchers explained.

The data come from a nationally representative survey of over 1,750 young adults ages 18-34 conducted bimonthly.

Speaking to NBC News, researcher Vlad Medenica said, 'We were excited that the differences emerged. Often millennials are talked about as a monolithic or homogeneous group where everyone is more or less the same.

'One of the aims of our survey is to dig a bit deeper and see how race and ethnicity shape people's experiences. The fact that Latinx millennials are least likely to identify as straight is a reflection of how important exploring this difference is.'

While 14% of millennials identify as LGBTQ, 22% of Latinx millennials identify in that way, a much larger proportion than for African-Americans (14%), whites (13%), and Asian-Americans (9%).

For millennials as a group, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, about 21% identify as Latinx, Latina/o, or Hispanic, 14% as black or African-American, 7% as Asian-American, and 56% as white.

In addition to a greater propensity to identify as LGBTQ, large majorities of millennials across racial and ethnic categories report knowing someone who is Gay or Lesbian, while somewhat smaller numbers report knowing someone who is Transgender. White millennials are the most likely to report knowing a Transgender person (36%) compared to other racial/ethnic groups (about 22%).

Other key findings of the GenForward study include the following:

" Discrimination in the country: Large majorities of millennials across race/ethnicity report they believe there is 'some' or 'a lot' of discrimination against LGBTQ people in the United States. Millennials are more likely to say there is a lot of discrimination against Transgender people compared to Lesbians and Gays (46% vs. 34%).

" Discrimination against Lesbians and Gays in racial communities: Majorities of Asian-Americans (53%) and Latinxs (61%) say there is 'a lot' of discrimination against Lesbians and Gays in their racial community, compared to 43% of African-Americans and 27% of whites.

" Discrimination against Transgender people in racial communities: Majorities of African-Americans (58%) and Asian-Americans (64%) and significant numbers of Latinxs (49%) and whites (47%) say there is 'a lot' of discrimination against Transgender people in their racial community.

" Racial tensions in the LGBT movement: Majorities of African-American (53%) and Latinx (50%) millennials believe that the issues confronting LGBT individuals in communities of color are very different than the issues being promoted by mainstream organizations. In contrast, the majority of Asian-American (54%) and white (58%) millennials believe that all LGBT individuals benefit when mainstream LGBT organizations fight for basic rights.

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