young america is more queer than ever, says new glaad study
GLAAD’s third annual Accelerating Acceptance report declares that Americans aged 18-34 are ‘igniting an identity revolution.’
Legalization of same-sex marriage, Moonlight's Oscar win, queer rappers: America is undoubtedly becoming more accepting of LGBTQ lifestyles. Or at least it looked that way until last November. But straight-washing the census won't change the fact that the country is becoming increasingly queer. Teens and twenty-somethings, in particular, are rejecting traditional labels and talking about themselves in words that eschew the gender binary. A new GLAAD survey of just over 2,000 US adults goes as far as to say that America's youth is "igniting an identity revolution."
According to the third annual "Accelerating Acceptance" report, people aged 18-34 are significantly more likely to openly declare themselves queer than older generations. 20% of millennials identify as LGBTQ, 63% are proud LGBTQ allies, and perhaps most striking, 12% identify as transgender or gender nonconforming. GLAAD attributes this to factors including increasingly accepting family environments, media visibility, and a general diminishing of stereotypes and stigma. "America is the most accepting that it has ever been. Having 20% of millennials identify as LGBTQ is pretty groundbreaking," Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD's president and CEO, told BuzzFeed News. "What I want to see is that they continue to flourish and blossom as their true and authentic selves."
GLAAD notes that while acceptance of LGBTQ-identifying people is at an all-time high, progress has slowed since the Supreme Court's landmark ruling on marriage equality. But the importance of queer visibility has escalated dramatically. "As the Trump administration turns America in a new direction, one that leaves many people fearful that their rights and well-being may now be in danger," the authors ask, "will cultural acceptance of LGBTQ people continue to rise and will young LGBTQ people in particular continue to feel safe to come out and simply be who they are?" If the number of young LGBTQ people and allies continues to swell at this rate, it looks more and more likely.
Text Hannah Ongley
Photography Benjamin Alexander Huseby
Styling Thom Murphy
Hair Justin Fieldgate using Bumble and Bumble
Styling assistance Leeds
Models Adam and Richard
The Youth Issue, No. 271, November 2006