Reader comments · Study: 3.5% of Americans are LGBT · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Study: 3.5% of Americans are LGBT

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. So the truth lies between 5 and 10 %, so no new news here.

    1. However, if we accept this poll’s findings, then as there are 313,914,040 people in the USA (2012 figure), 3.5% of that figure comes to 10,986,991.

      So there’s almost ELEVEN MILLION of us gays and lesbians in the USA!


      Clumped together like that it doesn’t feel like a minority!

  2. A ComRes poll of 10,000 people in Britain last month foound that 5% of people identified as LGB. About 2% did not answer the question about sexual orientation.

  3. In my xperience although only 3.5% identify themsselves as gay-the true figure for men is about 15%

  4. i don’t identify as any of those labels because im not straight but i don’t like the gay or bisexual label because of the connotations – i just me!

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 19 Feb 2013, 7:48pm

    I don’t think there is any accurate poll one can rely on. Millions of gay people wouldn’t even admit to being gay. I suspect the figure is nearer 10% than 3.5% or even 5% in most western societies.

    1. bobbleobble 19 Feb 2013, 7:57pm

      I took part in the ONS survey which produced the 1.5% result for gay and bisexual people in this country. The question popped up out of the blue and I hesitated before answering despite being openly gay because I wasn’t sure that I was happy revealing that kind of information to a complete strange for who knows what purpose despite living in a country which is liberal on gay issues. I did eventually give the correct answer but I can totally understand why many wouldn’t.

      There’s no good way of estimating the number of gay people. Self identification is not always good because it relies on people being honest but then if you frame the question in terms of sexual experience you’re going to catch people who have maybe one or two same sex experiences but then never again. It’s a tough one.

      1. EXACTLY. Another thing would have been to ask a seperate question regarding transgender people; there are transgender people who are gay or lesbian, and they were counted only for being transgender — which is a gender identity, not a sexual or romantic preference!

  6. bobbleobble 19 Feb 2013, 7:52pm

    Given Gallup’s abysmal performance at polling during the 2012 presidential race I am inclined to treat their findings with a little caution.

    It’s also a pretty meaningless poll in isolation, we’ll only find out whether this poll has produced the correct result is if the findings are replicated in future polls. Especially given the evolving views on gay people in the US and the possibility that LGBT won’t be happy to self identify at the moment especially in some less supportive states.

  7. The other 20% are still hiding in the closet in hopes nobody will find out, which they will sooner or later so they might as well come out and support the Gay Liberation Movement for freedom before they round them up and kill them should the movement fail.

  8. It’s not clear if this was an open or closed surveyt. If I lived in one of the most religiously brainwshed nations on earth and was asked that question in an open survey, I too may think twice about revealing my true sexuality.

  9. WantsToKnow 19 Feb 2013, 8:34pm

    “As a group still subject to social stigma, many of those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender may not be forthcoming about this identity when asked about it in a survey,” said researchers.

    Gee…. ya think?

  10. The key here is the numbers of people who “identify” as being LGB.

    That’s not the same as having same sex encounters, in which case of course the percentages would be far higher but it isn’t the same thing.

    To describe yourself as gay/bi means you assume that as an identity and way of life, and will tend to adopt – wilfully or unconsciously – what we recognise in one another as a “gay sensibility:- that certain essence of gayness we pick up in others when our Gaydars are fully functioning.

    Identifying as gay is clearly not for everyone who is same-sex attracted, and I do think that those who do identify as LGB should accept that and let those people be.

    Indeed I have no doubt that they number, for example, many sportsmen who we would love to be gay but, while they may bugger guys on the side, clearly the gay identity is not in their DNA.

    That’s why when a footballer or rugby player does come out, as we have seen recently, we really have something to celebrate and smile about!

  11. 3.5% of Americans: that’s a LOT of people!

    Add onto that those who are openly gay but would be hesitant to say so in a survey.

    As we know, there are also men who define themselves as ‘straight’ yet seek out M2M sex, even though many are living as heterosexuals in marriages or with female partners. Some are even Christians and in the Republican Party! :-D Then there’s the ‘straight’ men who haven’t actually had a homosexual experience, but have often thought about it and fantasized about it with the help of the internet. They would all add to the figure significantly if only they were honest with themselves and their female partners or wives.

  12. Lieberdavid 20 Feb 2013, 2:10am

    Estimates in the area of 1% to 15% are all nonsense. How do you account for the millions who are in denial? Don’t realize it? Know but are in the closet? Are so influenced by religion, family, culture that they behave as straight? A survey a few years ago of youths in a German high school found 25% responding positively to the question of having same sex attraction. This in a country where homophobia is still quite strong. I suggest that the only way to eliminate the influence of family, religion, culture from the estimate is to try to find a culture that was largely free of these. Take ancient Greece, for example. It was widely believed in that society that the population was about equally divided between those who leaned toward same sex attraction and those who leaned toward opposite sex attraction. I think any estimate of same sex attraction that is noticeably less than 50% is simply wrong, very wrong.

  13. I would imagine this poll is as about as informative as a poll in the UK asking who is ‘Christian’ – 6 in 10 answer ‘yes’ to that question, ( ), but this hardly tells the true story. Still, 3.5% of Americans is still 10.5 million people, and we must assume that as a minimum……

  14. Asking people how they “identify” will not give an accurate figure.

  15. White, not caucasian, thank you. If you’re going to call me a caucasian, you’re going to have to use the equivalent: negro. If you’re going to be respectfully, instead of insanely PC, you’ll call us what over 90% of white Americans call ourselves: white.

    1. Especially when you consider that the people of the US, who consider Hispanics not white, are hardly likely to think of the present occupants of the Caucasus as white!

  16. The only most accurate way to know who’s LGBT or who isn’t is to read their minds.Some people are in denial,influenced by Religion and bigoted families,some haven’t realized it.

  17. Frank Boulton 20 Feb 2013, 12:13pm

    Research, which depends only on self-declaration, simply cannot be trusted.

  18. When the time comes when we can safely and appropriately count all of us, we won’t need to.

    There are still plenty of states where you can be legally fired from your job and discriminated against. If you didn’t trust the survey, why would you hand someone data to harm you?

  19. Staircase2 20 Feb 2013, 3:23pm

    I would suggest that Washington DC has the figures closest to the truth

  20. Staircase2 20 Feb 2013, 3:27pm

    “When interim findings were published in October, Demographer Gary Gates said: “Contemporary media often think of LGBT people as disproportionately white, male, urban and pretty wealthy.

    “But this data reveals that, relative to the general population, the LGBT population has a larger proportion of non-white people and clearly is not overly wealthy.””

    No it doesn’t

    What it suggests is that those people who were comfortable enough with their sexuality to come forward did.

    It is however interesting that there’s a smaller percentage of white Amercians willing to step up and be counted. Especially given that media portrayals of gay people in the US overwhelmingly tend to be white.

    Lol maybe that says more about the quality of those portrayals than it does about the numbers of white LGBT people…

  21. I’d say the Washington DC estimate is probably closest to the true figure, not just for DC, or the US in fact, but worldwide. I’d definitely put it above 3.5% as stated. Though perhaps not quite 10%, but just under.
    Not that figures matter. No matter how small. Jewish people for instance, make up less than 0.2% of the world’s population and deserve all the same legal and social protections as anyone else in society.
    Just like the “It’s not a choice” debate.
    Who cares? While I know it’s not a choice, why should it matter if it were, anyway?

  22. GingerlyColors 21 Feb 2013, 7:37am

    Why would people living in North Dakota be less likely to be gay than those living in Hawaii? Perhaps gay people would be more likely to move away from a conservative rural area than a more cosmopolitan area. Also people living in places like North Dakota would less likely to admit to being gay. The poll is consistent with the general belief that 1 in 30 to 1 in 25 people are LGBT. Iranians and Ugandans are just as likely to be gay as their British and American counterparts but if a similar poll was conducted in Iran or Uganda people would be unwilling to admit to being anything other than hetrosexual.

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