Yesha Callahan

Study Shows Men Of Color More Prone To Identify As Gay

Last Thursday, “the largest single study of the distribution of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) population in the U.S. on record” was published by the Williams Institute at the law school of the University of California, Los Angeles. In the poll, 121,290 Americans were asked if they self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

The results show that 3.4% of U.S. adults identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. “ … the highest incidence among those who are non-white, younger, and less educated. The findings are based on the largest representative sample of LGBTQ men and women ever collected. Unlike Census data, which looks only at same-sex couples, Gallup collected data based on more than 120,000 interviews of adults in the US. This is the first of several reports that will analyze data collected as part of Gallup’s daily tracking survey where respondents are asked if they personally identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.”

More key findings include:

  • Non-white Americans more likely to identify as LGBTQ

African-Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities are more likely than white Americans to identify as LGBTQ. The results show that 4.6% of African-Americans identify as LGBTQ along with 4.0% of Hispanics and 4.3% of Asians. Among white Americans, the figure was 3.2%.

  • Younger Americans three times more likely than seniors to identify as LGBTQ

Younger Americans (age 18-29) are more than three times as likely as seniors aged 65 and older to identify as LGBTQ (6.4% v. 1.9%, respectively). Among those aged 30 to 64, LGBTQ identity declines with age — at 3.2% for 30- to 49-year-olds and 2.6% for 50- to 64-year-olds.

  • A larger portion of lower educated Americans identify as LGBTQ compared to college graduates

Contrary to many studies using smaller data samples, Americans with lower levels of education are more likely than their higher educated counterparts to identify as LGBTQ. Among those with a high school education or less, 3.5% identify as LGBTQ compared to 2.8% of those with a college degree and 3.2% of those with a graduate education. LGBT identification is highest among those with some college education but not a college degree, at 4.0%.

  • LGBTQ women are as likely as non-LGBTQ women to be raising children

The analyses also show that raising children under age 18 in the home is as common among LGBTQ women as it is among non-LGBTQ women. In both groups, about a third had children. That was also true of non-LGBTQ men. Just 16% of them were raising a child in their home.

These poll results could serve as a strong resource when it comes to the continuing debates over the rights for same-sex couples, especially when it comes to discrimination, marriage and child-rearing issues

  1. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    Biologically, 10% of the human population is thought to be homosexual. I think the education gap may be associated with someone with more education being disinclined to label her/himself

  2. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    I have a question. The headline refers to Men of Color being more likely to identify as gay (than Whites). Yet, the study also says that Women of Color are more likely to identify as being lesbian. So since this is a site for women, why highlight the men in the headline and not the women? Or why not highlight that lesbians are just as likely to be raising children as str8 women?

    Is it that you are playing to some Black women’s preoccupation with Black gay men as they relate to the “downlow”?

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      I think one is more taboo than the other. Lesbianism is more widely accepted than homosexual men period.

      ***Sidenote: If this site were to comment on lesbians raising kids they would also have to comment on the reality that too many lesbians BECAME gay, were in the closet, are actually bisexual and just confused as hell. But this isn’t politically correct to say given that SOME people want us all to believe that homosexuality isn’t a choice.

      • October 22, 2012 - Reply


        @Ask Me

        So I’m curious; how old where you when you decided to be heterosexual? Do you remember when you made that choice?

      • October 22, 2012 - Reply



        You won’t catch me playing on them Y when I’ve been playing on team X for twenty plus years with marriage and kids to show for it! At that point any logical person would think I made a CHOICE to switch teams.

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      @Val – Excellent question, I’ll be curious to see the response.

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      Thanks for the comment Val – we have an article planned to discuss that later this week. And no…we are not playing to that preoccupation – we are reporting the general study.


      • October 22, 2012 - Reply


        Great, I look forward to reading that later this week.

        Okay, glad to hear that you aren’t. .


      • October 22, 2012 - Reply


        @ Val, great question.

        I look forward to the forthcoming article, but I am still curious about the decision to use a title that specifically focuses on men.

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      Wow. You got all of that from a bunch of numbers? Somebody IS preoccupied

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply

      • October 22, 2012 - Reply


        Why would there be any question of how diverse (racially and ethnically, I’m assuming) homosexuality is? Are we not past the fact that we’re talking about a biological predisposition/variation? Why would one think that the numbers would suggest homogeneity? And also, let’s not forget that the study only reveals the number of individuals who were willing to disclose their sexual orientation in the context of the methodology. Was the data collected face-to-face, anonymously, verbally,in writing? So many factors are at play. The fact that the sample size was so large makes it clear that non-heterosexual orientation was vastly underreported, and that the study is only about the actual endorsement of non-heterosexuality as opposed to its actual prevalence

  3. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    Well surprise surprsie, really all one need do is go out for a night on the town and you see this.
    @ Val if people read and comprehended the article, they will gather that lesbians are included in this count as well as transgender etc.

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      Go out and see what? 3 of every 100 people that passes by wearing a purple triangle? What are you saying? Maybe you should douse your eyes with bleach if it’s that bothersome

  4. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    Really….? why do i find this hard to belief…are they sure they got this right?

  5. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    I’m convinced the women of Clutch are the least progressive black women I have ever come across in a comment section. You always have something negative to say, whether it’s about gay people, single parents or black men. It’s a wonder people choose to write for this site, dealing with you crabs in the barrel women.

    • October 22, 2012 - Reply


      Ha… this is why more women that read Clutch need to comment. Its usually the most ignorant that have the most to say. Welcome to the internet.

    • October 23, 2012 - Reply


      yet here you are..reading every article and commenting everyday…

  6. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    ^^^^^ then STFU and get off Clutch. Don’t know why it’s so difficult to do without making some announcement as if you’re so above it all.

    Just go. I doubt anybody will miss you. JS.

  7. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    That is so surprising, black men are gay. Never knew that “DL, Atlanta”

  8. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    The title of the artice is “study shows men of color….” with a picture of two seemingly gay black men. There is no mentioning of this in the article. Why was that necessary?

    Does the actual study suggest that because I haven’t read it.

  9. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    That picture is just way too funny! The main reason I clicked on the article!~

  10. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    These studies are bogus and an attack on the African American family structure most people are followers not leaders and young impressionable boys who have no proper guidance will fall for the programming of this sexually “learned behavior” and if there is some level of truth to this it’s because unfortunately in the African American community there are lots of Fatherless boys it is very possible that the desire to be engage in this lifestyle is rooted in the fact that they never had a fathers love so they turn to a man looking for something that they should’ve gotten in a healthy natural way as a child! African American men can be emotionless as well. You have men whose Fathers was physically present yet emotionally absent. I personally believe that a lot of these emotional factors contribute to our men being prone to this lifestyle. Men are more emotional than women and are even more affected by emotionless or absent parents of the same sex!

    • July 26, 2013 - Reply


      keep it real honey. You are full of hate and need to go back to your church and pray for your soul. Gay is about as learned as being right or left handed. Fatherless boys may have issues, but it is not about sexual preference. You write like a character out of some homophobic comic book. SNAP! Get in touch with your feelings informant! Black gays are on the rise. See you in Atlanta sweetie!

  11. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    Nothing to see here, just chickens coming home to roost, the numbers will keep on rising as long as the family non structure in the black community continues and no I don’t think it’s a big conspiracy set up by the man ala poster above. IOW, i don’t believe more black mothers are giving birth to gay children rather this phenomena is due to home environment and media influence. I don’t know when in the hell we became so damn PC and afraid to say the obvious. Denial and the cloak of political correctness is not helping us as a people.

  12. October 22, 2012 - Reply

    Not to play semantics, but the title of the article made it seem like more men of color are gay as opposed to straight, especially when the picture is of 2 men of color. I think it’s because of the use of the word prone, like men of color can’t help but be identified as gay, compared to men of color identifying as gay at greater percentages than other groups. At any rate, I kind of don’t care since there could be any number of reasons for the statistics — everything from how the survey was conducted to the differences in cultural pressures.

  13. October 26, 2012 - Reply

    @Mademoiselle . I agree with that, the title is misguiding. Though I must say I find it difficult to believe Black men statistically identify as gay more than other groups, considering general Black culture, where I feel there’s more pressure for men to conform to masculine roles.

    But on another note, what’s the significance? This isn’t meant to be callous, but honestly what if there’re more gays among black men? What does that do exactly?

  14. November 2, 2012 - Reply

    Meh…I really don’t care. LGBTQ rights are the wedge issue of our day. How you choose to identify yourself is meaningless in the grand scheme of things and is nothing more than a distraction away from issues and problems that deserve our full attention. The laws that is already on the books says YOU MAY NOT DISCRIMINATE. If that were enforced then gay rights becomes a non-issue.

    • November 14, 2012 - Reply


      Point of clarification: The anti-discrimination laws don’t cover sexual orientation. So while you can’t discriminate on the basis of race or gender, sexual orientation is fair game until laws are changed.

  15. July 26, 2013 - Reply

    If more black men are gay, or are saying they are, then it means that blacks are becoming more progressive. And that is a good thing!

  16. September 20, 2015 - Reply

    File this under duhhhh just wait til they do a closet gay poll they will find out just how much bigger that percentage will get.

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