A new survey that targeted 13 to 20-year-olds found that America’s youth is gayer than ever. The J. Walter Thompson Innovation Group’s study found that only 48 per cent of this group, known as Generation Z, identify as ‘exclusively heterosexual.’ 65 per cent of Millennials aged 21 to 34, on the other hand, identify as heterosexual.
Survey takers were given a scale of zero to six where zero was “completely straight” and six was “completely homosexual.” Over 30 percent chose between one and five, meaning they were on the bisexual spectrum.
Generation Z is making our future look bright! The mindful group (well, 70 per cent of them) also think public spaces should have gender neutral bathrooms compared to just 57 per cent of Millennials.
“We did a survey of Gen Z for a report released in May 2015 and found that 81 percent said that gender doesn’t define a person as much as it used to,” said Shepherd Laughlin, a director at J. Walter Thompson.
“We weren’t sure quite what it meant: Were they just saying, for example, that men or women could pursue any career they wanted to? Or did this reflect the more radical idea that gender itself isn’t as important to personal identity as it used to be, or that gender shouldn’t be seen as a binary? This new research shows that the latter idea is gaining significant traction among Gen Zers.”
Hollywood’s youth certainly seem to reflect the stats. With stars like Jaden Smith, 17, not conforming to gender norms, and Amandla Stenberg, 17, and Rowan Blanchard, 14, coming out as queer, we’re seeing representation getting better and better.
“I think the internet plays the greatest role in the self-discovery process today,” Tyler Ford, an agender writer and speaker, told Vice. “Young people have more access to information and to other people than ever before. Marginalized folks are building communities and platforms online and are talking about their everyday experiences on public forums. I can’t tell you how many times someone has written something and I think, Oh my God, that’s a real thing? That’s not just me? There’s a name for this?”
These new stats also seriously debunk that whole 10 per cent of the population is queer theory and begs the question – why are LGBTQ+ persons still so underrepresented in the media? Or, you know, represented then killed off.
“Millennials are quite open when it comes to gender identity, generally, but they haven’t been exposed to the range of vocabulary and nuance around this that Gen Z has become accustomed to, especially when it comes to discussions on online platforms like Tumblr,” Laughlin told Vice. “I think that as Gen Zers eventually enter the workplace and interact more with millennials as adults, millennials will gain a better understanding of these issues, and the gap will narrow.”
Basically Gen Z is going to save the world.
Image credit: Tumblr/queerartistscommunity, Instagram