More Than 10 Million Americans Now Identify As LGBT

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A new poll shows just how many Americans fall somewhere along the spectrum of LGBT identity.

The 2016 Gallup poll used a random sampling of 1,626,773 American adults, aged 18 and older, who were surveyed between June 1, 2012, and Dec 30, 2016. The results, released on Jan. 11, show that more than 10 million American adults now identify as LGBT, and the percentage of the U.S. population identifying in this way rose from 3.5% in 2012 to 4.1% in 2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, millennials, who are routinely viewed as more open-minded and accepting than their older counterparts, are largely to be credited for the increase.

“Millennials, defined here as those born between 1980 and 1998, drive virtually all of the increases observed in overall LGBT self-identification,” the Gallup poll notes. “The portion of that generation identifying as LGBT increased from 5.8% in 2012 to 7.3% in 2016. LGBT identification remained relatively stable over the five-year period at 3.2% among Generation X and declined slightly from 2.7% to 2.4% among baby boomers and from 1.8% to 1.4% among traditionalists.”

While these numbers are encouraging, its important to remember that they only reflect Americans fortunate enough to be able to come out in a culture that still stigmatizes same-sex attraction and non-traditional gender identities. We hope as more kids are born into a world with more and more visible examples of how a person can be openly queer and thriving, these numbers will continue to grow in the years to come.