A recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) reveals a groundbreaking trend among Americans aged 18 to 25, commonly referred to as Generation Z (Gen Z). A staggering 28% of individuals within this age group identify as LGBTQ, marking the highest percentage recorded for any generation by the polling organization. The survey, conducted in August and September with a sample size exceeding 6,600 respondents, sheds light on the diverse and evolving nature of Gen Z.

Nearly half of non-heterosexual Gen Z individuals identify as bisexual, constituting 15% of the entire Gen Z adult population. The proportions of gay and lesbian individuals (5% of the total) pale in comparison to those identifying as "other" (8%). This generation is notably more likely to embrace non-traditional identities compared to their predecessors. Among millennials, 16% identify as LGBTQ, with the numbers for gay and lesbian individuals almost equaling those for bisexual individuals (5% vs. 7%).

In the Gen X demographic, the count of gay and lesbian individuals actually surpasses that of bisexual individuals (3% vs. 2%) among the 7% of the total cohort identifying as non-heterosexual. Baby Boomers (4%) and members of the Silent Generation (3%) trail behind in LGBTQ identification. Gen Z also stands out for its racial diversity compared to other age groups surveyed. Only 52% of Gen Z adults—and just 50% of teenagers—describe themselves as white, in contrast to the 62% white population overall in America.

Moreover, Gen Z tends to distance itself politically from the Republican Party, showing a greater inclination towards identifying as liberal. The survey even suggests that there are more LGBTQ individuals in Gen Z than there are Republicans in the same age group, with only 21% aligning with the GOP compared to 27% of the total population.

PRRI refrains from speculating on the possible causes of this trend, which aligns with the liberalization of attitudes towards homosexuality in American society. Despite these shifts, 20% of adult Gen Z respondents report experiencing hatred or discrimination based on their sexual orientation.

Since the Supreme Court's 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, homosexuality is no longer a federal crime in the U.S., though many states have removed their current sodomy laws. The landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision in 2014 legalized same-sex marriage, which had been illegal across the U.S. since 1996. Subsequently, each state is obligated to grant and uphold such marriages, with same-sex couples permitted to adopt children. Only 35 UN member states allow same-sex marriage.

While PRRI's findings echo previous surveys indicating that Generation Z is the most LGBTQ and liberal cohort coming of age in the U.S., the percentage identifying as non-heterosexual is significantly higher in this week's findings compared to a similar Gallup poll conducted last year. This year's survey found that 19.7% of Gen Z adults aged 18 to 26 identify as LGBTQ, compared to 7.2% of the general population