Wikipedia: LGBTQ
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Kinsey Institute: Who Are These LGBTQ Americans?

Pew Research Center: LGBTQ Social and Demographic Trends

Video: Introduction to the LGBTQ Community

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List:Famous LGBTQ People

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Community

LGBTQ People


LGBTQ is an acronym that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer. When we talk about gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people, who are we referring to? Who are these LGBTQ people? Where are these LGBTQ people? What do they do? What do we need to know about them?


The research conducted by Alfred Kinsey from 1948 to 1953 indicated that 10% of the population is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer. That figure has been quoted for many years, but its accuracy has been questioned. 


More recently, in 2016, the Gallup Poll reported that the LGBTQ population is somewhere between 4.6% and 7%, not 10% as previously estimated.



Four-in-ten respondents to the Pew Research Center survey, in 2015, identify themselves as bisexual. Gay men are 36% of the sample, followed by lesbians (19%) and transgender adults (5%). While these shares are consistent with findings from other surveys of the LGBTQ population, they should be treated with caution. There are many challenges in estimating the size and composition of the LGBTQ population, starting with the question of whether to use a definition based solely on self-identification (the approach taken in this report) or whether to also include measures of sexual attraction and sexual behavior.

Other recent survey-based research reports have made estimates in the 3.5% to 5% range. However, all such estimates depend to some degree on the willingness of LGBTQ individuals to disclose their sexual orientation and gender identity, and research suggests that not everyone in this population is ready or willing to do so.


LGBTQ Community

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people have existed in every time period in history, in every culture, in every segment of society, in every walk of life. They are represented in every race, religion, and political affiliation. Apparently, sexual orientation is not related to one’s social standing, moral perspective, cultural setting, ethnicity, or upbringing. And it does not seem to be part of a trend or a phase someone is going through.

Although members of a sexual minority, LGBTQ people are otherwise no different from anyone else. They have regular jobs. They vote and pay taxes. They shop and buy things. They attend school. They engage in recreation and leisure activities. They have families. They raise children. They attend their church, temple or mosque. They care about political and social issues. They contribute to the economy. They date. They fall in love. They care about their relationships. They are your classmates, co-workers, colleagues, neighbors, friends, relatives. They are your mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.


LGBTQ people are active in their communities. They serve in important leadership roles. They are teachers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, musicians, and artists. They have made, and continue to make, great contributions in all areas of society, including literature, the arts, entertainment, athletics, religion, education, business, finance, law, science, medicine, government, politics, and the military.


Wikipedia: LGBTQ
Video: LGBTQ Facts to Celebrate

Story Corps: LGBTQ Stories

Kinsey Institute: Who Are These LGBT Americans?

Pew Research Center: LGBTQ Social and Demographic Trends

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Culture

Video: How You See Me

List:Famous LGBTQ People

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Community


Contributions and Affirmations


What wonderful and amazing things would be missing from our world without the contributions of the LGBTQ community?
We would not have the great literary works of Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Alice Walker, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Gertrude Stein.
There would be no modern day computers without mathematician Alan Turing. The space program would not have Sally Ride.



There would be no America the Beautiful without Katherine Lee Bates. We would not have the great musical compositions of Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Aaron Copland, and Cole Porter. There would be no Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schubert, Stravinsky, Chopin, or Handel.
We would not have the Mona Lisa or The Last Supper without Leonardo DiVinci.
The fashion world would not have Giorgio Armani, Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, Perry Ellis, or Yves Saint Laurent.


No Hans Christian Andersen or Maurice Sendak in children's literature.  No Andy Warhol in the world of art. No dancers like Rudolf Nuryev, Josephine Baker, or Isadora Duncan.


The pop music world would not have Elton John, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Michael Stipe, Ricky Martin, Barry Manilow, or KD Lang.



Television news media would not have Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, Suze Orman, Don Lemon, Sam Champion, Robin Roberts, or Shepard Smith.


The entertainment world would have no Rock Hudson, Ellen Degeneres, Lily Tomlin, BD Wong, Jodie Foster, David Hyde Pierce, Portia DeRossi, Richard Chamberlain, George Takei, Sean Hayes, Neil Patrick Harris, Wanda Sykes, Meredith Baxter, Kelly McGillis, Jim Parsons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Gillian Anderson, Jim Nabors, Raven Symone, Laverne Cox, Kristen Stewart, Jane Lynch, or Kate McKinnon.


The sports world would not have Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, Michael Sam, Brian Boitano, Orlando Cruz, or Bruce Jenner.



Famous LGBTQ People
History of the LGBTQ Movement

Famous LGBTQ People in Science and Technology

LGBTQ Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Famous LGBTQ People in Sports and Athletics

LGBTQ Leisure and Recreation

Famous LGBTQ Politicians

LGBTQ Marketplace

Research and Data on the LGBTQ Community


Profile of LGBTQ Community

According to the 2015 Pew Research Center survey, an overwhelming share of America’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer adults (92%) say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade and an equal number expect it to grow even more accepting in the decade ahead. They attribute the changes to a variety of factors, from people knowing and interacting with someone who is LGBTQ, to advocacy on their behalf by high-profile public figures, to LGBTQ adults raising families.

At the same time, however, a new nationally representative survey of 1,197 LGBTQ adults offers testimony to the many ways they feel they have been stigmatized by society. About four-in-ten (39%) say that at some point in their lives they were rejected by a family member or close friend because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  30% say they have been physically attacked or threatened.  29% say they have been made to feel unwelcome in a place of worship.  And 21% say they have been treated unfairly by an employer. About six-in-ten (58%) say they’ve been the target of slurs or jokes.


The survey finds that 12 is the median age at which lesbian, gay and bisexual adults first felt they might be something other than heterosexual or straight. For those who say they now know for sure that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, that realization came at a median age of 17. Among those who have shared this information with a family member or close friend, 20 is the median age at which they first did so.

The survey finds that the LGBTQ population is distinctive in many ways beyond sexual orientation. Compared with the general public, Pew Research LGBTQ survey respondents are more liberal, more Democratic, less religious, less happy with their lives, and more satisfied with the general direction of the country. On average, they are younger than the general public. Their family incomes are lower, which may be related to their relative youth and the smaller size of their households. They are also more likely to perceive discrimination not just against themselves but also against other groups with a legacy of discrimination.


The survey finds that 16% of LGBTQ adults (mostly bisexuals with opposite-sex partners) are currently married, compared with about half the adults in the general public. Overall, a total of 60% of LGBTQ survey respondents are either married or say they would like to marry one day, compared with 76% of the general public.

The survey finds that lesbians are more likely than gay men to be in a committed relationship (66% versus 40%).  Likewise, bisexual women are much more likely than bisexual men to be in one of these relationships (68% versus 40%). In addition women, whether lesbian or bisexual, are significantly more likely than men to either already have children or to say they want to have children one day.


As LGBTQ adults become more accepted by society, the survey finds different points of view about how fully they should seek to become integrated into the broader culture. About half of survey respondents (49%) say the best way to achieve equality is to become a part of mainstream culture and institutions such as marriage, but an equal share say LGBTQ adults should be able to achieve equality while still maintaining their own distinct culture and way of life.

Overall, many LGBTQ adults say they have used their economic power in support or opposition to certain products or companies. About half (51%) say they have not bought a product or service because the company that provides it is not supportive of LGBTQ rights. A similar share (49%) says they have specifically bought a product or service because the company is supportive of LGBTQ rights.

Some 52% have attended an LGBTQ pride event, and 40% have attended a rally or march in support of LGBTQ rights. About four-in-ten (39%) say they belong to an LGBTQ organization and roughly three-in-ten (31%) have donated money to politicians who support their rights.


Wikipedia: LGBTQ
Video: LGBTQ Facts to Celebrate

Story Corps: LGBTQ Stories

Kinsey Institute: Who Are These LGBT Americans?

Pew Research Center: LGBTQ Social and Demographic Trends

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Culture

Video: How You See Me

List:Famous LGBTQ People

Wikipedia: LGBTQ Community


LGBTQ Lifestyle


In current usage, the term “lifestyle” refers to the ensemble of choices that an individual may make in employment, leisure activities, dress, and self-presentation that serve to link him or her with a larger group in society (hippies, yuppies, goths, geeks, jocks, hipsters, leather). The element of choice is central. Although an individual may have been raised in one lifestyle, he or she may elect to join another.


This usage contrasts with the meaning of the term when first introduced in the early part of the 20th century, denoting an individual's basic character or “way of life,” as formed in childhood, after which it cannot be changed.


There are problems associated with the definition of the word “lifestyle.” Lifestyle is currently a journalistic rather than a social science term. For this reason its definition and boundaries are not always easy to determine. In theory everyone has a lifestyle, but in practice the word attaches to those who have departed from mainstream conventionality.



Adding to the difficulty is the recognition that lifestyles may overlap. A motorcyclist may participate both in the leather gay subculture and the biker subculture. A gay musician may be simultaneously involved in a variety of subcultures that can be separately defined by types of leisure, entertainment, fashion, art, and religious expression. Finally, on closer inspection what appears to be one lifestyle, may break up into a bundle of related phenomena. Although the gay lifestyle may be discussed in a unitary fashion, one should bear in mind that it has many subcomponents, so that the lifestyle of a lesbian business­woman is very different from that of a lesbian S&M adept. Neglect of these very real differences has sometimes hobbled the effectiveness of gay and lesbian activist organizations, which tend to assume a greater social homogeneity than actually exists.


The affirmation of a lifestyle is oftentimes a reflection of social class and socioeconomic status. Sometimes it is based on the type of leisure activities a specified group engages in. Adopting a lifestyle proclaims one's value system and one's personal self-definition to the world at large. Hence the term "alternative lifestyle," which connotes that its bearer dissents from the conventional wisdom of society's mainstream. In this sense a lifestyle may be a new form of heresy, one expressed in conduct rather than formal belief system.



A lifestyle includes modes of behavior, speech, dress, thought, and social attitudes that define a segment of the population and serve as a model for those who seek acceptance by the peer group. At the same time it may have an individual aspect that serves to distinguish the subject from others of his or her social class and ethnic group. This phenomenon is seen, for example, in some types of teenage rebellion.


What is the “gay lifestyle?” Attainment of increased leisure and of greater discretionary income undoubtedly furthered the emergence of the contemporary gay lifestyle. The earlier part of this century witnessed a clandestine homosexual subculture in the big cities of the Western world, but it was the gay liberation movement of the late 1960s that created a self-conscious public with its own media and its own social identity. The rejection of heterosexuality with all that it implied (including participation in activities traditionally defined as appropriate for male-female couples) was matched by the growth of a new set of values and standards shared by the emerging gay world of metropolitan America. A characteristic style of dress, patronage of particular bars, bathhouses, and resorts, subscription to the gay mass media, and participation in community events of a more or less political content were the criteria of a gay lifestyle. At the same time a lifestyle could also be symbolic behavior aimed at attracting sexual partners of one's preference.


The hallmarks of the gay lifestyle of the 1970s were: living as a single adult, or in a casual union with a partner of the same sex that could be terminated at will; freedom from the obligations of conventional heterosexual marriage; fashions of dress and coiffure that marked the subject as part of the gay subculture; a level of discretionary income considerably above the norm for a heterosexual couple; acceptance of sexual experimentation and promiscuity if not as the norm, at least as behavior to be accepted in others without criticism; and periodic attendance at demonstrations, rallies, meetings, and similar events that brought together diverse strata of the gay community on specific occasions such as the annual Gay Pride Day marches in major cities.



The gay subculture perpetuated the tradition that had originated in the bohemias of the 19th century, as well as the "alternative lifestyles" that came into vogue with the radical wave of the Vietnam War era.


Only with the threat of AIDS in the 1980s did a monogamous homosexual lifestyle gain in popularity and achieve for a certain part of the gay community the status of a norm. Also, as conservative values displaced the liberal or even radical ones of the late 1960s, the forces shaping Western social attitudes began to affect the behavior of the denizens of the gay subculture. But the consciousness of being part of a minority (one whose conduct differs significantly from that of the heterosexual majority), whose sexual activity is still strongly tabooed in the eyes of many, and whose values deviate markedly from the traditional norm, continues to shape the lifestyle of the homosexual.


To be sure, the homosexual lifestyle is not monolithic, and shows contrasts between coupled and single individuals, between urban and rural individuals, and between leather adepts and those who prefer "vanilla sex." As the foregoing discussion has indicated, the relative importance of these "sub-lifestyles" in the mix has shifted over time, and further changes may be expected.


The choice of a lifestyle is one of the freedoms that modern society accords to its members. Premodern societies often prescribed the behavior of an individual on the basis of social class, family position, and age so rigorously as nearly to obliterate the personality of the subject. The atomization of society, the emancipation of the adult from the tutelage of the extended family, and the constant drive of the global economic system to find markets for new objects of consumption. All these have contributed to the emergence of variegated lifestyles as behavioral options for the citizen of the contemporary world. The gay lifestyle owes its viability in turn to the freeing of sexual morality from the narrow limits of previous centuries, and to the emergence from clandestinity of an "alternative culture" that could openly disdain many of the norms of the still intolerant larger society.


[Source: Warren Johansson, Encyclopedia of Homosexuality]





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