nonwhites more likely to identify as lgbt

gallup surveyed 120,000 american adults and found that blacks, hispanics, and asians (in that order) are all more likely to say that they are gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender than whites. the national average was 3.4%:

and, women more than men, but the difference wasn’t so great:

(note: comments do not require an email. gallop!)


  1. Wait, I thought that the GSS and other past surveys always found that there were more LGBT men than women?


  2. @anonymous – “Wait, I thought that the GSS and other past surveys always found that there were more LGBT men than women?”

    dunno. ’cause, to be honest, i’ve never really paid too much attention to this issue. here’s a report [pdf] that the gallup article referred to which found, like you say, more men (3.6%) than women (3.4%) saying they were gay/bisexual than women [pg. 6]. the numbers are pretty close, though.


  3. Interesting find, though I believe these trends may not be generalizable to the whole U.S. population due to this:

    [For results based on the total sample of [national adults/registered voters], one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is <±1 percentage point.]

    Expressed as intervals (assuming S.E. = 1%; I don't know much less than 1% the S.E. is since they don't say explicitly), the percentages are as follows:
    Non-Hispanic White: (2.2, 4.2)
    Black: (3.6, 5.6)
    Hispanic: (3.0, 5.0)
    Asian: (3.3, 5.3)

    Lots of overlap here; further muddying this is the proportion of cats who refused to answer (also greater among nonwhites) who are indeed LGBT.


  4. @hbd* chick: welcome! Interestingly, if all of the DK/ref’s were LGBT and we considered the CI’s, the numbers approach the widely hypothesized 10% LGBT rate (at least among nonwhites; it comes out to 6% give or take for Whites).


  5. There is a hauntingly beautiful book about South Africa under apartheid called Cry the Beloved Country. (It isn’t intended to be taken seriously. For instance the natives address people as “Imfustu” but the author admits that “Imfustu” is a third person. Addressing someone directly you say “Fustu” but he used “Imfustu because it sounded, well, more native don’t you know?) One of the driving plot elements is that a Catholic priest has a native fancy boy. That’s just fine with the natives because it is so “natural.” But eventually the boy takes an interest in girls and wants to quit his relationship with the priest. The result is that the corrupt European power structure cannot stand this “natural” arrangement and so there is trouble. Since then some ideas have come out. For one, AIDS can be transmitted by homosexuality, and it has become rampant in Africa. But now we are told that it is always transmitted there by heterosexual promiscuity. For another thing, at least from the headlines, the corrupt European power structure has no problem at all with this “natural” arrangement until it is made public.

    All of which proves nothing at all, of course. But I do notice that Cry the Beloved Country is not mentioned much any more.


  6. Nelso, why would you think all the DK/Refused were LGBT? Why add them in, unless you were seeking to pad the total? I don’t get it. I would think there are a lot of “refused” answers, and even the DK’s might know the answer, but not be interested in sharing that information.

    10% was widely hypothesised in the 1980’s – there was even a magazine by that name, I think – but I don’t think it has been seriously advanced by a researcher for 20 years. If you know differently and have data, I will defer, because I don’t keep up with it.


  7. @Assistant Village Idiot: I was thinking hypothetically (the numbers I came up with would be an upper bound). Realistically, the contribution to the overall rate by the DK/ref’s is likely much less than the DK/ref percentages since it’s extremely unlikely all of them actually are LGBT. (Also, I don’t have data – nor have I seen any data – that would support the 10% LGBT hypothesis.)


  8. “But I do notice that Cry the Beloved Country is not mentioned much any more’

    I’ve noticed that liberals don’t mention South Africa at all any more, unless they have to. I guess that they’ve ‘moved on”.


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