TL;DR: More and more of us in the UK identify with the queerness and fluidity in our identities. Despite headlines that want us to think otherwise, it’s a reminder that short-term hate will fall flat in the long run, as more of us embrace our true selves.
A new report by the charity Stonewall has shown a clear trend. Generation by generation, more people in the UK feel safe and happy to identify with their LGBTQIA+ identity openly.
The Rainbow Britain report paints an optimistic picture of the state of queer UK - and is a reminder that despite bombardment in the press, future generations recognise the fluidity of sexuality, gender and romantic orientations. Here are some key takeaways:
The younger the generation, the queerer it is
Indeed, the stats for Gen Z respondents (aged 16 to 26) show only 71% identify as straight. 14%, around half of those who do identify as queer, are bisexual or pansexual. This sits in stark contrast to other generations.
For example, at the other end of the spectrum, among Baby Boomers, 91% said they were straight.
Equally, if you look closer into the statistics about attraction, you can see that beyond labels many more show some level of queerness and fluidity to their attraction.
How many trans folk? Not as many as the headlines suggest
The report shows that the number of trans people remains disproportionate to the amount of press attention the community gets.
The survey found around 3% of people identify within the trans and gender-diverse umbrella when you include non-binary and gender-queer folk.
Newspapers will have you believe this small marginalised community are taking over the world. The report notes that this is a media-manufactured moral panic while setting out that the 2021 census should shed more light on these statistics.
What's the bigger picture?
CEO of Stonewall Nancy Kelley spoke about how it was "amazing" to see younger generations less afraid to be themselves. But she also reflected on the attacks we've seen in the press and by Government on LGBTQIA+ rights in the UK
“This profound sea-change in our identity and orientation indicates that the idea of a ‘culture war’ often referenced in parts of the media is a misnomer being propagated by a narrow section of society, out of touch with – and unwilling to accept – the reality of our diverse, inter-connected communities.”
The report concludes that, as future generations continue to become increasingly queer, attempts to belittle LGBTQIA+ people and our lives will eventually fall flat. Why?
"Because there are simply too many people right across society that know and love LGBTQIA+ people."
With each new survey, more and more younger generations are seeing their gender, sexuality and romantic relationships beyond the binary.
With each new cruel headline targeting transgender and other queer folks, our lives are getting harder.
With each new queer creative, journalist or content creator we can help to get into the industry, the media that future generations deserve becomes more of a reality.
We're working tirelessly to do that, but we can't do that vital work without you. The commissioning and content schemes that generate the content you read here each week are funded by QueerAF members. Which is why you get to have a say in the direction of the content we create.
Will you take a look at how you can help us change the media while tackling misinformation about LGBTQIA+ lives right here in this newsletter?