After interviewing mover 15,000 people during 2020 — Gallup quickly discovered the rising numbers with those who identified being apart of the LGBTQ+ community.
Of those who identify as LGBTQ+, 54.6% identified as bisexual, 24.5% as gay, 11.7% as lesbian, 11.3% as transgender and 3.3% used another term to describe themselves. And as respondents were able to identify with more than one category, the total exceeds 100%.
With that information, younger Americans are much more likely to identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. When it comes to Gen Z —- just 16% from ages 18 to 23 do not identify as cis-gendered or heterosexual. And only 2% of Americans 56 and older self-identify that way. The poll also relays how younger people are more likely to be open about their identity.
Whether someone in your family may identify differently or not, it is important to discuss gender, fluidity, sexuality and sexual orientation. And that task may be daunting — but don’t worry! That’s where we come in…
It is common to feel uncomfortable speaking on the subject, so imagine how kids must feel! A vital first step: acknowledge the nerves, the feelings of awkwardness and/or your hesitation of saying the wrong or right thing.
Next, browse resources that can help you guide the conversation such as organizations like, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, PFLAG, the Stonewall Community Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medicine which include free resources available on their websites.
And regardless of if your child has come out as LGBTQ+ or not — continue to have conversations about sexuality and gender. This can be done through watching shows and movies together or reading books with LGBTQ+ characters. Representation is vital to helping your child or maybe your child’s friend or child’s niece or nephew, etc. find themselves reflected in the world today.
And last but not least, listen to your child. Show them how you are open to the conversation and you care about their thoughts and feelings on the subject.
In addition, do address any discriminatory incidents immediately and inform your child that discrimination is never okay.
This way, if your child does identify as LGBTQ+, then this allows them to understand you have their back. And if they identify as cis-gendered or heterosexual, you will reinforce the important message that hateful words and actions will not be tolerated.
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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