The LGBT population has seen many successes in their quest for equal rights. The largest gains have been seen in the right to marry their partner, but equal rights in the workplace and in other aspects of life are lagging behind the times.
There are 29 states as of December 2014 that do not have laws that prohibit workplace discrimination because of a person’s sexual orientation. Between 3.5-5% of the US population is believed to be part of the LGBT community.
What is unique about LGBT populations? One of the most unique aspects about this demographic is that population numbers can never be accurately tracked. Some people choose to “stay in the closet” about their sexuality. Others may deny their same-sex attractions or their desire to transition genders for religious or family reasons. What we can do is look at the demographics of those who self-identify as being part of the LGBT community.
- 40%. That’s the percentage of people who say they belong to the LGBT community and identify themselves as bisexuals.
- Women are 3x more likely to identify themselves as bisexual when compared to men.
- 5% of the LGBT community identifies themselves as being transgender.
- The percentage of the LGBT community that says that all or the most important people in their lives are aware of their orientation status: 54%.
- Only 28% of bisexuals say that the people who are close to them are aware of their sexual orientation.
- About half of gay men and lesbians say their sexual orientation is extremely or very important to their overall identity.
- Only 20% of bisexual men and women say that their sexual orientation defines their identity.
- 10% of those who live in the District of Columbia self-identify as being part of the LGBT community.
- The percentage of people who self-identify as being LGBT in North Dakota? 1.7%.
The LGBT community is one that is partially fractured because of the continuing negative stigmas that can be found in society today. Although more people are accepting of the “alternative” lifestyle, there is still plenty of hatred that is directed to this demographic. LGBT community members can be fired from a job because of their sexual orientation in a majority of the United States. 2 out of every 10 gay men feel like their orientation helps to define who they are, yet their closest family and friends don’t know about their LGBT status. Brave people who aren’t afraid to stand up for their rights will need to continue stepping forward to eliminate much of the negative stigma and personal shame that many in this demographic feel about their attractions and orientation.
A Profile Of The Modern LGBT Community
- 2 out of every 3 members of the LGBT community is white.
- Hispanics [15%] are more likely to be part of the LGBT community than African-Americans [12%].
- 33%. That’s the percentage of the LGBT community that has achieved a high school diploma, GED, or dropped out before graduating high school.
- Bisexuals are more likely to attend college than any other LGBT demographic, but are the least likely to graduate with a college degree.
- 1 out of every 2 bisexuals has a total family income in the US that is less than $30k. Only 1 in 10 bisexuals is able to earn more than $75l annually.
- 40% of gay men in the LGBT community have at least a bachelor’s degree.
- The percentage of the LGBT community that is 49 or younger: 69%.
- The 65+ age demographic accounts for only 9% of the total LGBT community.
- Every age demographic has a different orientation point of emphasis. The 18-29 age group is most likely to be bisexual. The 30-49 age demographic is most likely to be gay men. The 50-64 age demographic is most likely to be lesbian. Seniors are evenly split.
- Bisexual women outnumber bisexual men 4 to 1.
The subgroups of the LGBT community shine a lot of light on their overall demographics. What is most striking is the fact that 78% of those that self-identify with this demographic make less than $75k per year at their jobs. When compared to all US adults, the LGBT demographic [20%] is less likely to earn more than $75k than the general population [34%]. This is why ending discrimination in the workplace against sexual orientation is so necessary. It seems to be a contributing factor to the overall wealth and standard of living that the LGBT community is able to achieve.
What Are The Top Priorities Of The LGBT Community?
- 57% of the LGBT community says that equal employment rights are a top priority and it ranks at the top of all policy issues.
- 53%. That’s the percentage of the LGBT demographic that says equal marriage rights that are sanctioned legally are a top priority. If civil unions or domestic partnerships are included, another 39% support equal rights in coupling.
- The percentage of LGBT community members who see the prevention and treatment of HIV and AIDS as a top priority: 47%.
- 45% would like to see adoption rights for same-sex couples be the same as they are for “traditional” couples.
- 41% support having an increase in LGBT youth organizations that can provide support to children and teens who identify with this demographic.
- Only 29% of the LGBT community believes that transgender health issues being covered by health insurance are a top priority.
Although equal rights are important, as is the right to legally marry someone and receive the benefits that marriage provides, there is a surprising lack of priority on transgender issues. Many of the issues are community orientated and include transgender members by default, but same-sex issues are generally considered a higher priority than transgender issues on a 2 to 1 or 3 to 2 basis, depending on the subject. This is why we all need to do a better job in supporting those who have either transitioned in their genders or are thinking about doing so. If their needs are even minimized in their own population demographics, then is it any wonder why so many who are transgendered are struggling with not only their identity, but with life itself?
LGBT Demographics and Politics
- 57% view the Democratic Party as friendly.
- Only 4% of the LGBT community views the Republican party as friendly toward issues that their demographic faces. 76% say that the GOP is actually unfriendly.
- 8%. That’s the percentage of the LGBT community that sees the US military as being tolerant toward their demographic.
- 8 in 10 self-identifying LGBT community members also self-identify as being part of the Democratic party. In the general population, the rate is 1 of every 2 people.
- Just 18% of LGBT adults describe themselves as being “very happy.”
- Only 10% of the LGBT community sees religious groups as being friendly toward their demographic.
- Half of all self-identifying LGBT community members say that they have no religious affiliation whatsoever.
- 33% of those who are religious in the LGBT community say that their religious beliefs conflict with their sexual orientation.
- 30% of the LGBT community say that they were specifically targeted and made to feel unwelcome when they went to a place of worship.
Everyone has a spiritual side to them. Having a place to belong, whether that involves God, a Flying Spaghetti Monster, or simple meditation is important. Even filling a spiritual need with science and natural evidence is beneficial, but in the LGBT community, the sheer shame and hatred that is cast upon them from religious groups makes this nearly impossible. In order for people in this demographic to feel like they truly belong, they need to feel like people accept them as a person. As human. This is also why many in the LGBT don’t support Republicans or consider themselves to be a member of the GOP. The LGBT community has much to contribute, but there are many that are trying to hold them back.
What Progress Has Been Made?
- With the exception of South Dakota, all of the states that have LGBT populations of at least 4% have laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and allow same-sex couples to marry, enter into a civil union, or register as domestic partners.
- 80% of the LGBT community regularly uses social networking sites and feel like the connections are beneficial to them.
- 55% of the LGBT demographic have met others within their community online and formed friendships because of it.
- Despite these facts, 83% of the LGBT community will not regularly discuss LGBT issues while they are on the internet.
As these demographic facts show, there are three steps being taken that are forward, but there are two more steps that are backward in nature. Progress is being made, slowly and surely. By understanding the LGBT demographics, we can all find ways to support each other, no matter what our orientation may be.