Mar 15, 2022 - World

Poll: LGBTQ-identification is higher among Latinos than other groups

Percentage of American adults who identify as LGBT, by race and ethnicity
Data: Gallup; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

LGBTQ-identification is higher among Latinos than white or Black American adults, helping drive the soaring rates of self-identification over the last decade.

By the numbers: A record 7% of American adults now identify as LGBTQ, according to a Gallup poll released last month.

  • 11% of Latino adults surveyed said they were members of the LGBTQ community, compared to 6.2% of non-Hispanic white adults and 6.6% of Black American adults who said the same.
  • The difference is largely due to the fact that Latinos skew young, and youth is closely tied with LGBTQ identity, Gallup researchers said.
  • Nearly 21% of poll respondents who are Gen Z adults (born between 1997 and 2012) identify as LGBTQ. Just over 10% of millennials do.

What they’re saying: “I would say that the needle’s pointing in the right direction," says Gabriella Rodriguez, executive director of QLatinx, a Florida organization that advocates for the Latino LGBTQ community.

  • Rodriguez tells Axios Latino that while identifying as LGBTQ in Latino communities is sometimes stigmatized, "there's a lot of resources and more access to information."
  • Still, Latinos face a lack of access and visibility when it comes to legislation that impacts them, Rodriguez adds.

At the same time, several Republican-led states, including Florida and Texas, have recently passed or introduced anti-LGBTQ measures.

  • Florida's "Don't Say Gay" bill, passed last week, would ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity from kindergarten through 3rd grade.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered state agencies to investigate parents for child abuse if they seek gender-affirming care for their children.
  • LGBTQ rights advocates and their supporters have slammed the measures as "hateful." Several medical associations have also condemned legislation to restrict gender-affirming medical care, saying it could have a detrimental effect on the mental health of transgender youth, Axios' Oriana Gonzalez and Erin Doherty report.

The big picture: Stigma, discrimination and victimization, as well as other challenges, including anti-LGBTQ policies, have contributed to higher risks of suicide among LGBTQ young people, according the Trevor Project, a nonprofit organization focused on preventing suicide in LGBTQ youths.

  • Latino LGBTQ youth are much more likely to report a suicide attempt, according to the Trevor Project.
  • The organization’s latest national survey found that 43% of LGBTQ Latino youths seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 18% attempted suicide.
  • That’s compared to 39% of non-Hispanic white youths who seriously considered suicide and 12% who attempted.
  • Native American, Black and multiracial youths had the highest rates of reported attempted suicides.

Go deeper: Most LGBTQ kids' mental health negatively impacted by anti-trans legislation, polls finds

Methodology: The Gallup poll is based on 12,416 adults ages 18 and older surveyed via telephone polls between January and December 2021. Read more about the methodology.

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