A new report reveals a seismic shift in sexuality and gender identification among young Americans, with a staggering 28% of Gen Z adults (ages 18 to 25) identifying as LGBTQ+.
This marks a significant increase compared to 16% of millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996), 7% of Generation X (1965 to 1980), 4% of baby boomers (1946 to 1964), and 4% of the Silent Generation (1925 and 1945).
The comprehensive survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), encompassing 6,616 participants aged 13 to 25, and portrays Gen Z as a generation with unique political, social, and cultural perspectives.
In addition to identifying as LGBTQ+ at much higher rates than older Americans, the report also found that they are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in American history. And like millennials, Gen Zers are also less likely than older generations to affiliate with an established religion.
The researchers noted that members of Generation Z are coming into their own politically, socially, and culturally, “bringing their values and viewpoints to their communities and workplaces, and to our nation’s political system.”
LGBTQ+ equality group, The Human Rights Campaign emphasises that with nearly 30% of Gen Z adults identifying as LGBTQ+, LGBTQ+ Americans are one of the fastest growing voting blocs in the US, growing at a scale, scope, and speed that could fundamentally reshape the American electoral landscape.
“Whether it’s at the polls, in marches and rallies, or online, LGBTQ+ visibility matters and Gen Z is a force for change,” notes Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson.
She points out that thousands of LGBTQ+ young people turn 18 each day and urges lawmakers to understand the possible repercussions of anti-LGBTQ+ political attacks in the upcoming US elections.
The LGBTQ+ voting bloc is projected to surge in the coming years, nearing one in five voters by 2040, and is set to emerge as among one of the most influential voting constituencies whose impact will transform and reshape politics in the United States.
“While LGBTQ+ people have always existed, it’s not always been, and still often is not, easy to live freely and openly. We will continue our work towards a future where everyone in every generation can be free and comfortable to be their authentic selves,” said Robinson.
As Gen Z becomes a powerful force for change, their growing visibility shapes a future where LGBTQ+ individuals across generations can live freely and authentically.