So it’s a good time as ever for allies to learn to better support their LGBTQ loved ones and understand more of the diversity that exists within the wider LGBTQ community. More than 20 million Americans identify as LGBTQ, according to a 2021 analysis of census data by the Human Rights Campaign, and this is an important time to protect and expand LGBTQ rights.
Political narratives often portray religion and LGBTQ experiences as exclusive, and Christianity-based arguments are often used to oppose rights such as same-sex marriage. Despite this, many LGBTQ people maintain that they are religious, and some of the largest Christian denominations openly affirm LGBTQ members and appoint them as spiritual leaders.
Nearly 47% of LGBT adults said they were religious, according to a 2020 report from the Williams Center for UCLA Law’s LGBT-focused public policy research. (The report was based on data collected between 2015 and 2017, however, it is likely that these figures have changed.) The report found that among older LGBT adults, this figure reached 65%.
The report found that black LGBT adults were more likely to be religious as well as those in the South (71% and 54.1%, respectively). Overall, it is more than 5 million LGBT adults in the US who describe themselves as religious.
Sarah Tevistown, an ordained minister at the United Church of Christ, is one of a large group of Christian pastors who support the biblical case for affirming LGBTQ people. (The Reform Project, a Christian organization, is one of the leaders of this movement.)
“The early church affirmed women, and recognized gender beyond binary,” Tavistown tells Nation World News. “Today, most of the main Christian denominations affirm LGBTQ people. But the church has made a lot of mistakes, and in other Christian practices, there is no accountability.”
Many LGBTQ people want marriage and family
The federal legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015—now known as the plaintiff in that landmark case, Obergfels—was a major watershed moment for LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ couples ready to marry. Gallup reported in 2021 that nearly one in 10 LGBT adults in the US is married to a gay spouse.
Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, says, “After Obergefels, LGBTQ people reported being happier and more satisfied with their lives, and today 63% of cohabiting LGBTQ couples are married, indicating that LGBTQ The couple will seek marriage.” , LGBTQ media advocacy organization.
Additionally, about 77% of LGBTQ adults aged 18 to 35 already have parents or say they want children in the future, according to Family Equality, a nonprofit that aims to support LGBTQ families. To extend legal protection.
“It all shows that when people have rights, they use them,” Ellis says.
But since the LGBTQ population includes members of Gen Z and Millennials, both younger generations who, as in the case of millennials, are increasingly delaying marriage, younger LGBTQ people are not thinking about marriage, and this is the case for married LGBTQ couples. can affect the overall percentage of Kerith Conron, director of research at the Williams Institute.
There are different methods for transfecting trans people, and not all of them are medical.
In the quest to live a more authentic life, some (but not all) trans and non-binary people may change their clothes, looks, pronouns or names. Any or all of these can constitute a person’s infection. Much of the rhetoric that questions the validity of transgender experiences has centered on surgical or medical transitions, but Conron points out that social transitions – changes that are not medical – can be just as important.
“Many people have not started hormone therapy and even fewer have had other medical procedures — sometimes because of a lack of interest in such a procedure,” Conron tells Nation World News.
Access to gender-affirming procedures and medical care is essential for trans communities and, in terms of mental health, this can be life-saving. A study published this year, led by the Stanford University School of Medicine and based on data from the most recent US transgender survey conducted in 2015, found that trans adults who started hormone treatment as teenagers were more likely to commit suicide than those who did not. were less likely to experience the thoughts of Those who wanted, but never reached, hormone treatment.
Another study published this year of more than 100 trans and non-binary young people found that receiving gender-affirming health care was associated with 60% less depression and 73% lower odds of suicide in the following year.
Cost and access, as well as discrimination within the health care system, are big reasons why transgender people may not seek gender-affirming medical procedures. And some trans people are able to live fully within their gender identity without it.
sex has never been binary
While “transgender” is a relatively new term, dating back to the mid-1900s, records from ancient civilizations around the world contain evidence of people and groups who lived their lives and expressed themselves in ways that were outside the social norms of sex. was considered – or even completely outside – the male-female sex binary.
Intersex people are just one example. According to the United Nations, 1.7% of the population is born with anatomy, chromosomes, and hormone function that are outside of typical perceptions of the male and female body. Because these variations occur naturally, there is every reason to believe that they have existed throughout history—before science had the tools and language to identify them—and even in societies that were intolerant. Were.
But as awareness of the natural diversity within sex and gender has increased, the data has also begun to more reflect these experiences.
“There are more surveys starting to count transgender people, which makes sense given that transgender people are a new population,” says Conron of the Williams Institute. “However, this is not the case. Visibility is increasing.”
The US Census Bureau did not begin collecting official data on sexual orientation and gender identity until 2021. In recent history, a lack of data on transgender individuals has hindered efforts to build a more complete picture of the trans community in America – and it also presents issues when investigating crimes against transgender people.
Historians such as Susan Stryker and Jules Gil-Petersen have published extensive works that trace the recorded history of trans people, some stories dating back several decades before the term “transgender” came into common use, and the National Center for Organizations such as Transgender Equality led efforts to survey trans Americans to create a more complete picture of the population.
“That is where accounts of history are the most important resource for looking back and gaining perspective on the history of transgender presence, and thinking about the different terminologies and ways people express themselves,” Conron says.
Visibility has strength, but visibility is not enough
In a February poll, Gallup found that self-identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender — or “something other than heterosexual” — on an anonymous poll conducted in 2021, more than at any other point in the past decade. Gone, a change driven primarily by young people.
A Gallup poll found that nearly 21% of 18 to 24 year olds – the Gen Z demographic – identified as LGBTQ. Among Gen Zs, bisexual is the most common identifier – nearly one in six Gen Z youths identify as such, according to Gallup.
“Being LGBTQ is nothing new, but many of the same rights we have today as LGBTQ people are new. For decades, we have tried to increase representation and visibility, not only in the media but in the workplace, in schools, and everywhere. That LGBTQ people lead our lives,” Ellis says.
“Because of so much hard-earned progress, people who come out as LGBTQ today can do so with less fear of repercussions and more confidence in the future of their relationships, families, and careers.”
However, Ellis expressed concern that the recent increase in anti-LGBTQ activity across the US could undermine her sense of self-confidence. According to GLAAD’s 2021 report, nearly 70% of LGBTQ people reported experiencing targeted discrimination in 2021 – a 24% increase since 2020.
And in states across the country, there has been a wave of new legislation restricting the rights of trans people. According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, more than 58,000 transgender youth ages 13 and older across the US are facing restricted access or offers, and could soon lose access to gender-affirming care.
“We’re not going back to the closet,” Ellis says. “But with that visibility comes the response we’re seeing now.”