Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people (LGBT) have ceased to be a mostly urban subculture and are now largely integrated into mainstream American society and culture, according to a new “LGBTid Study” done by Starcom MediaVest Group and Logo as part of SMG’s “Beyond Demographics” surveys of minority populations.
The SMG-Logo study, which included a survey of over 1,000 LGBT individuals, identified eight distinct subgroups within the LGBT community -- one of which is straight. The four largest LGBT groups together make up 67% of the total LGBT population. They include “Out & Proud,” for whom sexuality remains a key part of their public identity; “Beyond The Alphabet,” typically younger LGBT individuals who are more skeptical about the need to subscribe to fixed sexual preferences as part of their identities, described by SMG as the “embodiment of the future”; “Initiators,” who are politically involved; and “Just Who I Am,” for whom sexuality is just one component of daily life among many.
In many ways, the “Just Who I Am” subgroup best typifies the survey’s finding that LGBT life is increasingly integrated into the American mainstream. Indeed, 53% of all respondents said they do not try to hide their sexuality or make a big deal out of it, while only 30% said they preferred living in and socializing LGBT-dominant communities.
Other aspects of LGBT integration range from economics to cultural tastes to family life. Thus, 49% of the LGBT individuals surveyed said they are married, in a relationship, or living with a partner, compared to 51% of all U.S. adults in marriages, according to the Pew Research Center. (Of course, not all LGBT people can or want to marry, and the latter figure doesn’t include U.S. adults in long-term relationships.)
Despite cultural biases against LGBT behavior in some ethnic groups, LGBT individuals are also ethnically diverse, according to the SMG-Logo study, with over 40% of the sample reporting themselves as “non-white”; that compares to 36.3% in the 2010 U.S. Census.