Keep in mind that these polls entail a stranger calling you up and asking if you’re gay, etc. If you live in Mississippi, where Republicans still think blacks shouldn’t marry whites, are you really going to tell some stranger on the phone that you’re gay, and risk waking up with a horse’s head in your bed? Doubtful.
The Williams Institute, a leading think tank dedicated to the field of sexual orientation and gender identity-related law and public policy, released new research that estimates the size of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community in the United States. Drawing on information from four recent national and two state-level population-based surveys, the analyses suggest that there are more than 8 million adults in the US who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, comprising 3.5% of the adult population. There are also nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the US. In total, the study suggests that approximately 9 million Americans – roughly the population of New Jersey – identify as LGBT.
UPDATE: The more I think about it, the more this ticks me off. There is no way you’re going to get anywhere near 100% of gay people admitting they’re gay, period. I wonder if you get more than 50%.
Married gays, forget it. Dating a girl, forget it. Closeted, forget it. People afraid for their jobs, forget it. Work for the military, forget it. Older gays, less likely. Living in a scary state, or small town, more likely not to admit it. And on and on.
Until one of these studies starts estimating how many gay people are NOT admitting that they’re gay to the questioner, these studies per se underestimate our community, significantly I fear, and all the media will do is repeat the low-ball number and say “see, you’re not that many after all.” And it’s all well and good to say “gosh, our civil rights shouldn’t be based on how many people we are,” but sorry Charlie, numbers matter, especially in politics. These studies continue to hurt us, and they continue to put out these numbers they know are false, and they know will be misquoted against us.
Thanks for nothing.