Rejecting Labels and Sparking an Identity Revolution, Millennials Refuse to be Trumped

NEW YORK, N.Y. – As the Trump Administration begins fulfilling its pledges to move the country in a different direction, such as the recent ban on transgender people serving in the military, many in the LGBTQ community worry: will the pace of progress be stalled or even undone altogether?

Not if Millennials have anything to say about it.

The Harris Poll/GLAAD Survey, Accelerating Acceptance 2017 reveals that young people today (ages 18-34) are more accepting of LGBTQ people than ever before. And as acceptance has grown in this country, so too has the number of young people who describe themselves as LGBTQ. 

GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance 2017 survey reveals a remarkable new era of understanding and acceptance among young people who increasingly reject traditional labels such as “gay/straight” and “man/woman.” Instead they talk about themselves in words that are beyond the binary, they are in essence, igniting an identity revolution. In fact, the survey found that Millennials (people ages 18-34) are:

  • More than twice as likely to identify as LGBTQ as the Boomer generation (people ages 52-71)
  • 56 percent more likely to identify as LGBTQ than Generation X (people ages 35-51)

This could be attributed to increasingly accepting environments, wherein for many people, family rejection is less frequent, job security is less at risk, and overall safety is less of a concern when coming out. Millennial Americans, whether gay, straight, bi, transgender, gender fluid –– however they describe themselves –– are the single largest generational cohort to identify with and protect the advancements of LGBTQ Americans. This alone is a promise of progress for the future American mindset on gender equality.

“But though laws can be unwritten, hearts and minds in America have been changed for the better – and that is a reality less easily unraveled. The LGBTQ community has a long history of demonstrating resilience in the face of adversity, fighting to protect the people they love, and defending the core American value that all people are created equal.” – GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance 2017 Report



This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between November 2 and 4, 2016 among 2,037 adults aged 18+, 229 of whom identify as LGBTAQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Asexual, or Questioning). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.  Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #19, August 10, 2017

By John Gerzema, CEO, Harris Insights & Analytics