What’s happening to the LGBTQI population?
Despite statistics revealed by numerous studies, the total population of the LGBT community in the UK remains unclear.
This may be partly due to some people being hesitant about coming out in the open about their sexuality, or it could be as a result of some views towards LGBTQ+ people that are embedded in society.
For example, Donald Trump’s presidency is being seen as a misfortune for the LGBTQI community in the United States.
In February this year, President Donald Trump’s administration revoked landmark guidance to public schools letting transgender students use the bathrooms of their choice, which was put in place by ex-US President Barack Obama.
This kind of regressive step taken by the Trump administration puts the rights of the LGBTQI community in jeopardy, not only in the USA but around the world.
Kit Williamson, American actor and filmmaker widely recognised from the successful LGBT-themed web series, EastSiders gave a short statement on LGBTQI issues in the United States under Donald Trump via his video message on Facebook:
“I think in Trump’s America, it’s more important now than ever that the LGBTQ community comes together and supports one another and stands as a united front with other groups, with the Black Lives Matter movement, with Women’s Rights Movement, Reproductive Health, and that we all take a firm stand against bigotry and oppression that exists in this country and that we are an imperial marginalised community. We have made incredible strides in recent years but it’s more important now than ever that we stand our ground and hold firm to promises that we have made.”
In its Integrated Household Survey conducted in 2014, the Office for National Statistics asked 178,197 people about their sexual identity.
93.5% of people said they were ‘straight’ and only 1.1% said they were ‘gay’ or ‘lesbian’ and 0.4% said they were ‘bisexual’. The rest either refused to answer or said they did not know.
“In 2015, the majority (93.7%) of the UK population identified themselves as heterosexual or straight, with 1.7% identifying as LGB, the remainder either identifying as “other” or refusing to respond,” said Pamela Cobb revealing the Sexual Identity, UK: 2015 official statistics.
Gallup, the American polling company, says that the portion of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) increased to 4.1% in 2016 from 3.5% in 2012.
These figures, drawn from the largest representative sample of LGBT Americans collected in the U.S., imply that more than an estimated 10 million adults now identify as LGBT in the U.S. today, approximately 1.75 million more compared with 2012.
Paul Vickers, a statistician at ONS says: “The percentage of Britons saying they’re gay, lesbian or bisexual is far higher in London than anywhere else in the UK which makes it the gay capital of Britain. 2.5% compared to just 1.1% in Northern Ireland and 1% in the East of England.”
Vickers further said on ons.gov.uk that those aged between 16 and 24 were by far the most likely to say they were gay, lesbian or bisexual – 2.7% of them did – a fraction that increasingly declines as you move up the age scale.
According to LGBT rights charity Stonewall, that may be due to more LGB role models such as model and actress Cara Delevingne, singer Miley Cyrus and boxer Nicola Adams coming out as bisexual in the public eye in recent years.
A spokesman for the LGBT charity Stonewall has suggested that many LGBT people struggle to open up about their identity with friends, family or colleagues.
“To ensure that LGBT people feel safe and supported, it is vital to recognise the discrimination and anti-LGBT abuse that still exists. Our recent hate crime research shows that one in five LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months,” he said.
The total LGB population of England as specified by results stands at approximately 1.36 million. However, if people chose to reveal their sexual orientation than responding ‘rather not say’ to surveys, the figure would be considerably higher rising to more than three million.