It’s Pride month. Across America, cities, towns, and neighborhoods are bedecked with rainbow flags. The national event is a celebration of LGBTQ+ people and a remembrance of the 1969 Stonewall uprising. And while not every community will be waving high a Pride flag, polling by Gallup suggests that more banners than ever will be hoisted this year.
Since 2017, as the first Gen Zers — those born between 1997 and 2012 — reached adulthood, the number of young Americans identifying as LGBTQ+ has nearly doubled, from 10.5 percent to 20.8 percent. This is a dramatic shift from earlier generations. Approximately 10.5 percent of millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — identify as LGBTQ+.
At least some of the disparity between generations may be explained by the rise in acceptance of LGBTQ+ Americans and an increase in legal protections afforded them. The most recent Gallup polling shows that 70 percent of Americans support marriage equality — the highest percentage since the polling group began tracking such support in 1997, and a 10 percentage point increase in support since the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that extended marriage equality to same-sex couples.
Sixty-six percent of Americans support openly transgender men and women serving in the military, though that number is down 5 percentage points since Gallup’s last such poll, in 2019. However, most Americans believe transgender athletes should compete against players who match their sex at birth rather than their gender identity.
Gen Z stands out in the trans data: People who personally know a transgender person are more likely to be supportive of trans people, and half of Gen Z respondents fit into that category.
Ben Jackson is a father, writer, activist, and producer of “Alyssa Milano: Sorry Not Sorry.”