LGBT: an elegy for the L and G

Mar 1, 2021 by

by Debbie Hayton, UnHerd:

The LGBT community is expanding. The Office of National Statistics found that the proportion of the UK population — aged 16 years and over — publicly identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual increased from 1.5% to 2.0% between 2012 and 2017.

In a separate study of 15,349 American adults published this week, Gallup estimated that 5.6% now identify as LGBT. But drilling down into the data, an astonishing 15.9% of 18- to 24-year-olds were huddled under the LGBT rainbow. That is almost one in six, but this surge does not come from the L and the G. They are now a minority in their own community.

[…]  Bisexuals dominate the figures, though Gallup also reports that the vast majority choose opposite sex partners, while transgender people push lesbians into fourth place. What is going on?

Times have changed since I grew up in the 1980s. Gay pride — once a political protest on the fringe of society — is now a mainstream carnival. In 2019, Pride in London estimated that over 1.5 million spectators watched 30,000 people parade from Langham Place to Whitehall.

The message to young people is clear from the colourful flags on show. Every LGBTQIA+ identity seems to have one. But the monochrome heterosexual flag — yes there is one! — sits alongside like a relic from the black and white era. Why be a boring cis-heteronormative supporter standing on the sidelines when you can identify into the party and be special?

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