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For decades, we have seen a steady increase in social acceptance of lesbian, gay and bi relationships. We have also seen a steady increase in the percentage of the population who identify as lesbian, gay or bi. A new study called “Attraction, Identity and Connection in Great Britain In 2022” by Stonewall/Ipsos reveals that only half of Gen Z say they are exclusively attracted to people of the opposite sex. The findings reveal that two in five Gen Z respondents identify with same-sex attractions. 53% report being exclusively attracted to people of the opposite sex.

This compares with 77% of baby boomers who say they are exclusively attracted to people of the opposite sex. The groundbreaking report reveals that more Gen Z people identify as bisexual or pansexual (14%), than gay (2%) or lesbian (3%). Across all age ranges, only 66% of more than 6,000 Britons describe themselves as being exclusively attracted to the opposite sex. 40% of Gen Z-ers have a pattern of attraction that could be described as queer (outside the scope of exclusively heterosexual attractions between cisgender people). This suggests that younger people are more likely to feel comfortable coming out as being LGBTQ+.

When Stonewall/Ipsos asked people simply what their sexual orientation is from the options of heterosexual/straight, bisexual, gay, asexual (little or no sexual attraction), pansexual (attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity), lesbian, omnisexual (attracted to those of all gender identities and sexual orientations), other (specify), don’t know and prefer not to say, the vast majority of the population (84%) answered that they are straight. Those identifying as gay (3%) or lesbian (1%) is much less common. That is significant as most studies to date have shown the lesbian and gay population to be larger than the bi population, which has come in at second with 5%.

Gen Z is defined as those currently aged 16-26; millennials 27-42; Gen X 43 to 56 and baby boomers are 56 to 75.

“This ground-breaking new report shows that our lives as LGBTQ+ people are more visible and connected to our friends and families,” Nancy Kelley, CEO of Stonewall told The Independent. “It is also amazing to see that younger generations are no longer afraid to be themselves and have supportive families and social environments to thrive. “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.”

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