Survey shows 5.6% of people identify as LGBT

More Americans are identifying as LGBT, according to a new Gallup study. 

The percentage of adults in the U.S. that identify as LGBT has increased to 5.6%, which is more than one percentage point higher than the 4.5% who identified as LGBT in 2017.  

The survey is based on over 15,000 interviews with American adults done over the span of 2020. 

According to Gallup, this study went more in detail than previous years. Respondents were able to answer more precise questions about their sexuality and gender identity and identify whether they are transgender. 

Gallup believes the increases could be a result of growing support for equal rights for the LGBT community instead of a shift in sexual orientation from past generations to now. 

Carly Herrera, the president of ULM’s LAMBDA society, said, “I think there is more awareness so people are able to definitively define their gender and sexuality.” 

Out of the 5.6% of adults that identified as LGBT, over half—54.6%—identified as bisexual. Next came people that identified as gay at 24.5%, lesbian at 11.7% and transgender at 11.3%. 

William McCown, the interim school director and clinical psychologist, said these statistics can benefit LGBT individuals’ mental health by allowing them to be self-accepting. 

“These statistics may open people up to starting an important and accepting dialogue, either with themselves or important others in their lives,” Mccown said. 

John Sutherlin, a political science professor , agrees with McCown and feels that universities can encourage this self-acceptance by allowing students to express themselves in unconditional ways. 

“If [universities] encourage people to be who they are and provide a safe place for such, I think that everyone benefits.  But this requires acceptance and not just tolerance or accommodation,” Sutherlin said.