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How Many Gay Men And Women Are In America?

May 25, 2016

(And no, one can not draw conclusions based on college dorm room activity.) There is, however, a most interesting story about ‘the count’ from Time.

As the LGBT population moves into its full and equal place in public life, many people are asking an old question with new urgency: just how many LGBT Americans are there? After centuries in the shadows, many experts believe that we need a full accounting of the nation’s LGBT population and how they live for legal, economic and health reasons. Now, for the first time, a group of experts from 21 federal agencies are working on a project to figure out how to do just that. The results could pave the way for first-ever surveys of America’s sexual orientations and gender identities and influence everything from local laws to military policy to health care.

Many people aren’t even aware that they have a gender identity. Others are but don’t happen to identify as male or female. And though the answers to these questions have public policy implications, many feel they are private matters—perhaps ones they’ve had a hard time admitting to themselves or their families and have no intention of telling the government. Privacy concerns and terminology quandaries are among the issues that the federal working group, led out of the Office of Management and Budget, are working hard to figure out, as politicians across the nation argue that these demographics, and their struggles, must be recognized and researched.

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