Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Study says 3.8 per cent of Americans are gay, bisexual or transgender

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Keith Lynwood 7 Apr 2011, 2:44pm

    Considering that this is the country that sends the vile evangelists to Uganda to preach death to homosexuals…… I am surprised any of them have admitted to being gay.

  2. And the methodology was???

    Seriously, how can anyone make objective comments on the matter without knowing more about the nature of the study. Under what conditions were people asked? How confidential was the questioning? And so on and so on.

    Keep in mind, for example, that sexual orientation is NOT a protected class for employees in many States. Their laws are not like ours and in the USA, coming out or being outed to the wrong people at the wrong time can do terrible harm.

    Now I like to do my best to live an honest and authentic life and I have never, to date, lied when asked. I don’t feel a need to hide myself. BUT I know that I cannot lose my job or my home or various rights and services because of our laws and I am fortunate because of it.

    I consider the outcome to be deeply flawed and that no safe conclusions can be made. Until GLBTQ people can be safe and secure from hatred and abuse, our numbers will never truly be known.

    1. If you want to know more about the study and its methods, why not just go look it up:

      http://www2.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/pdf/How-many-people-are-LGBT-Final.pdf

      It’s odd that you have decided the ‘outcome to be deeply flawed and no safe conclusions can be made’ until you do that.

    2. @Valksy Bingo!

      1. What this study does is place a lower bound on the queer community in the United States. What we can safely say is that there are *no fewer than* 8.7 million queer folks in the US.

        And that’s useful, too, in its own way.

        1. Jock S. Trap 10 Apr 2011, 10:27am

          And how many of those pay equal tax, vote equally etc yet are treated far from equal?

  3. And just think how much higher the numbers would be if so many people weren’t scared out of their wits to admit anything, out of fear of losing their job, family, etc… All you ever really have to go by is what people are comfortable admitting about themselves since we’re such a purely “invisible” minority. That’s probably a good thing though; gay babies could be killed instantly if they were showing spots or purple hair or something…

  4. Jock S. Trap 7 Apr 2011, 3:21pm

    This figure is still a vast underestimate.

    I think these kind of polls need to be done sensitively. They can be used to abuse too many times and I think they must somehow try to get an accurate figure.

    These are people who are open. I suspect many more aren’t open, so would at least double if not treble the estimates.

    I can’t believe we would be ‘attractive voter’ if we were the minority the likes of the Christian Institute who miserably like us to believe.

  5. Its virtually impossible to get an accurate percentage. There are many gay and bisexual in the closet who would never admit to their true orientation in any survey or poll. My gut feeling is that the percentage is far higher than purported to be, far higher both here and in the U.S.

    1. I agree. Some people are naturally cautious and worry about how the results might be used; others have reasons why they can’t be open about their sexuality; and some people are simply private and don’t want to open up about anything.

  6. What’s the name of that river in Egypt again?

  7. There are more than that in reality.

  8. Personally I would agree with others that these surveys don’t give an accurate number of LGBT people. What concerns me more though is that these surveys seem to suggest that the smaller the number of gays, the less reason there is to afford equal rights or be concerned with the welfare of gay people. If there were 100 gay people in the entire world, they would still deserve the same rights as everyone else. All these per centage figures do is help segregate the gay population as a separate entity, which is a very useful tool for the right wingers to treat people less like humans, and more like a problem that can be stamped out.

    1. So true!!!

  9. 10 people or 10billion people, they should still have equal rights.

    1. Paddyswurds 7 Apr 2011, 8:37pm

      As there aare only 6.4 billion people in the world at the moment a figure of 10 billion gays would be a surprise to say the least. 750 million would seem to be nearer the mark.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Apr 2011, 10:26am

        It’s still a lot of people that deserve to be treated equally and respectfully, yet aren’t being.

  10. These figures will never be high enough for the gay militants cos the truth is they NEED these numbers to be higher to justify all the hate and thought-crime laws that they are pressurising to become law. The truth is there is no such thing as gay as it relates to human sexuality per se. We are all hovering somewhere between 100% homosexual and 100% heterosexual depending where our sexuality lies at any particular time. Those labelling themselves gay buy into a “tribe” lifestyle that behaves a certain, ahem, gay way and which has closed itself off from any possibility of exercising a more sexually fluid existence, and who frown upon any tribe members who dare suggest they may have even a mild sexual attraction to the opposite sex. Surveys like this merely prove this great myth that humanity is swarming with gays when really it is sexually fluid if social conditions allow it to be. The only people who have closed themselves off to this truth is those who adopt gay/straight labels.

    1. And just how exactly do you know what goes on in the heads and hearts of every other person? You have the right to speak for yourself but not anyone else. Personally, I have never felt one single bit of sexual attraction to any woman; in fact, just the mere idea of it repulses me in exactly the same way that most straight men abhor the idea of two men being together. The difference though is that I don’t go off ranting and raving and screaming about it or try to tell other people how to live their lives.

  11. Paddyswurds 7 Apr 2011, 9:27pm

    More Abrahamic pixie in the sky bullsh!t…. If thats what floats your boat Bill, run with it.

  12. Maybe I’m being extraordinarily dense here but these figures don’t add up to me, given the US population is around 307,000,000 – ?

  13. Sexual orientation within western society is a black and white concept. In reality it is likely that most people feel some attraction to both genders to differing degrees.

    1. Exactly. And that is one strong message from this study: there are fewer people in America claiming to be entirely straight than there used to be, and there are fewer claiming to be entirely gay. This study shows a growth in the number of people admitting to desire, relationships and sexual activity with people of the same and other genders throughout their lives no matter how or if they label themselves.

      Basically, admitting to bisexuality, pansexuality, queerness, fluidity or just non-labelling desires is gaining strength. This study can only threaten those (gay or straight) who are determined to hold on the old paradigm of human beings are ‘only gay, straight, or lying’ — the world is moving on from that nonsense.

  14. Helen Wilson 8 Apr 2011, 12:20am

    If you have 4 or 40,000,000 LGBT people it does not really matter, we still deserve equal right as everybody else does. I really don’t see why the numbers and percentages should matter to how we are treated.

  15. In short, “gay” is a tribal/lifestyle choice. It actually has very little to do with unrestricted, unconditional (ie: fluid) human sexuality; but that’s the great deception gay-identified people buy into time and again, as exemplified by those on this thread jumping to question these statistics, which will never be enough in their favour. But of course the gay lobby don’t want you to know that because then, well, what would they have to lobby and scream and shout about?! That’s why, for example, they should leave footballers alone and stop demanding more come out of the closet and join the pink parade. Indeed it’s becoming something of a witch hunt when frankly it is none of our damn business what any consenting person does behind closed doors. I dare say many league footballers have man on man fun, but that alone does not define them as “gay” unless they declare to label themselves as such and then join the likes of Gareth Thomas down at XXL et al.

    1. I respect your opinion, and I can almost see where you’re coming from, but I disagree.

      I am gay. I do not like women (sexually), I never have, ever since I can remember….however, I don’t conform to the stereotypical gay lifestyle, although I don’t have a problem with those that do. I don’t fit in with any gay “tribe”.

      I would agree there is more to sexuality than simply labelling anyone who is attracted to someone of the same sex as “gay”. In fact I would also agree this is a rather damaging view to take, as many people don’t want to be known as gay (which is a separate issue altogether), and so completely deny that part of themselves because they know that nobody, gay or straight, will understand their feelings. The sad thing is a lot of people out there would understand their feelings, but they also feel the need to closet themselves completely into the preferable ‘straight’ label, and so the problem continues..

    2. …cont

      Nevertheless, you cannot simply dismiss the entire population of people who identify as gay as people who are ‘choosing’ to live a certain way. That’s the same kind of ignorance the right wingers feed on and there are countless of examples, myself included, that disprove that notion altogether.

      1. Well said, Chris. William, you may well be right about some gay people, but to imply that all gay people are like that is wrong. Everyone is different, and, from my own experience, I’ve found that most LGBT people live a quiet life and aren’t part of any ‘pink parade’ as you put it.

        1. Jock S. Trap 8 Apr 2011, 10:54am

          Too true Iris, good point.

  16. Chris, what’s “gay” exactly? It’s a label whereby you define who you are by who you sleep with. Maybe you’re also right-handed, allergic to peanuts, have blue eyes, but that doesn’t define who you are. Who we sleep with shouldn’t either, but in calling yourself gay you’re erecting a barbed wire fence around your sexuality. How do you know that in any given situation you wouldn’t desire to have sex with one? No, your mind is already set in stone so you automatically filter such ideas out. Look at Tom Robinson, who for many years sung “Glad to be Gay” until unexpectedly found himself in such a situation (and has, ahem, never looked back). “Gay” is a defiant, political statement more than anything and is being used right now to usher in thought-crimes, not to improve the lot of those who choose to label themselves “gay”. I sleep with guys but would never close myself off to the idea of sleeping with a woman cos I just don’t know what lies ahead, so I describe myself as open-minded…

    1. Jock S. Trap 8 Apr 2011, 11:04am

      Actually William it is the heterosexual community that puts up barbed wire because of the assumption we are all straight and therefore that is deemed normal. It has nothing to do with labelling everything to do with identity. Identity is important for everyone including yourself I would imagine. Truth is identity to the LGBT community is very important because we have only been legal for a short amount of time so yes we do feel that is to be celebrated.

      In order for us to be better and diverse we surely must expect differences in human beings not assumptions that we are all in the same pigeon-holed box. We can only progress when we accept and celebrate each other.

      Your arguement about allergies, being right or left handed, or blue eyes is flawed simply because those things are not questioned and rarely discriminated against unlike being a Woman, being Black, Asian, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transexual etc.

      1. Absolutely, Jock. I’d rather everyone was just seen as an individual and not labelled by sexuality or race or similar, but until we live in that perfect world, then we need to speak up about who we are. That doesn’t mean being aggressive or loud – one can do so without being like that, and it’s often more effective too.

        1. Jock S. Trap 9 Apr 2011, 10:35am

          Totally agree Iris, society just needs to be aware that there are diiferences and that those differences don’t make us less, or indeed more, of a human being but that we are all worth celebrating.

    2. Jock S. Trap 8 Apr 2011, 11:07am

      Being open about our differences in society is the only way to becoming a more accepting progressive society and the only way that we can be viewed as the ‘norm’. That of course is increasing in society so clearly the more along that road we go hopefully your ‘labels’ will play less and less of a part and acceptance will take over.

  17. Sloppy editing, sorry. The last part of my post should read:

    How do you know that in a certain situation you wouldn’t desire to have sex with a woman? No, your mind is already set in stone so you automatically filter such ideas out. Look at Tom Robinson, who for many years sung “Glad to be Gay” until unexpectedly found himself in such a situation (and has, ahem, never looked back). “Gay” is a defiant, political statement more than anything and is being used right now to usher in thought-crimes, not to improve the lot of those who choose to label themselves “gay”. I sleep with guys but would never close myself off to the idea of sleeping with a woman cos I just don’t know what lies ahead, so I describe myself as open-minded. Saying that, I fully accept that 1 per cent of “gay”-identified men are gay in the true sense of the word using the Kinsey scale of measuring homosexuality (i.e. 1 per cent of the population being 100% homosexual and at the other end 1% being 100% heterosexual)…

    1. Jock S. Trap 8 Apr 2011, 11:10am

      Because desire and attraction are two different things.

      I find many women attractive just not sexually therefore I don’t desire to have sex with a female.

      Have spent most of my life round more women than men and I think long enough to know sex with a woman just isn’t possible. It’s what we’re born with not a choice.

    2. William, I don’t think many gay people do that – set limits in stone. In fact, I’ve got friends who did the opposite – ie assumed they must be straight, persisted with straight relationships and only later realised that they weren’t straight at all.

      I don’t pre-judge who I might find attractive in the future or look at someone and rule them out because of their gender. That would suggest that my response isn’t honest. Believe me, I’ve looked at men and willed myself to see something physically attractive about them, and I don’t. I appreciate aesthetics, I appreciate character, but I don’t want to sleep with men. However, this isn’t some ‘rule’ I’m inflicting on myself – it’s just the way things are.

      I think many LGBT people aren’t as different from you as you think.

      1. Jock S. Trap 10 Apr 2011, 10:24am

        Excellent point again, Iris. Totally agree.

    3. I have to confess I identify and agree with a lot if not all of what William says, though it pains me to say so as a self-expressed gay (identified) man. It is one of the reasons I am seriously considering changing my Gaydar profile sexual status to “Open-minded” from “gay” (yes, there is such a category, so clearly William is not alone in espousing this theory).

      Really, we only have to look at what occurs in all make environments like prisons and military institutions. In the absence of women it is natural, I suppose, for guys’ homosexual tendencies to come to the fore and to be expressed (except the one per cent of course who William theorises are 100 per cent heterosexual!). Let’s admit it, sexuality is a spectrum of shades of grey with black and white at the extreme ends.

      Maybe its our insistence on having a “gay” label that does us so much harm. There is much credence in the old phrase “live and let live”, and perhaps if we just got on with our own lives and didn’t invite…

  18. TheSuburban Bi 8 Apr 2011, 12:56pm

    “The author, Gary Gates, says he realizes it’s hard to know how many people are queer …

    “In fact, I’d say that the author of this brief showed a pretty flagrant disregard for the rules of basic logic, much less demographics. Instead of producing something with facts that could be published in a peer-reviewed journal, he produced a research-lite brief to be distributed via press release to draw media attention to the number, using methodology that would make the average high school statistics teacher send the paper back for a rework. ”

    http://www.bilerico.com/2011/04/the_lgbt_population_is_not_9_million.php

    Thought that was an interesting take… though I agree one thing the study does show is that the monosexual labels of “only straight or gay” are getting more and more outmoded, and bisexuals and people who label themselves “in the middle” somewhere are speaking up and being counted. Not letting their numbers get lost iniside gay or straight statistics.

  19. When they were going around taking this count did anyone think to check the CLOSETS?

  20. such adversity by demanding visibility everywhere all of the time we wouldn’t be fighting half the battles we are.

    I think there is also a lot to be said about there being a “gay lobby” that needs something to shout about all the time just to remain visible. After all, just about every right it has fought for has been won in recent years, yet it won’t stop until every conceivable gay “hate crime” is on the statute book. In doing so they are becoming our own prison warders, because those same thought crimes they are policing will apply to us as well at some point in the future, whether wittingly or unwittingly.

    Sometimes I think we really just need to take a shapr intake of breath and just chill and begin to enjoy life for what it is. We’re only here once after all.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Apr 2011, 10:23am

      I’m sure most of us are chiiled and enjoying life but also how we can improve life for the future LGBT communities.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all