We need straight answers for Gen Z gay explosion

Is America turning queer?

Usually, facts speak for themselves.

But not always.

According to reliable Gallup polling, there has been a volcanic explosion over two generational cohorts, or groupings, of Americans who declare themselves other than cisgender or heterosexual, which remain the overwhelming majority. That is 86.7%, says Gallup.

An explosion of queerness among Gen Z

This does not mean they are “better” than anyone else. They are just more numerous, and that seems to be changing fast, so fast that it is hard to believe. 

In 2021, 5.6% of all Americans told Gallup they were gay, up from 4.5% in 2017 — an almost 25% increase in four years. Amazing — but that is nothing compared to the Generation Z gay boom.

Starting with research done by Kinsey in 1948, 4% or more of males were exclusively gay, 1-2% of females. (My guess is the numbers were on the low side.)

What Gallup found last year is that 15.9%, about 1 in 6 Generation Z people (those born between 1997-2012+), identify as non-binary, falling somewhere in the broad horizon of the LGBTQ+ alphabet string. This is an unprecedented high number. 

By contrast, only 9.1% of Millennials, the previous cohort, were queer-claiming, but that is gigantic when contrasted  to the tiny 3.8% of Generation X that preceded Millennials.

From 3.8% to 15.9% is a fourfold increase, so WTF is going on? Do the numbers reflect biology, psychology, or sociology? 

Pew Research opines that technology might play a role in it: “Technology, in particular the rapid evolution of how people communicate and interact, is another generation-shaping consideration. Baby Boomers grew up as television expanded dramatically, changing their lifestyles and connection to the world in fundamental ways. Generation X grew up as the computer revolution was taking hold, and Millennials came of age during the internet explosion.

Generation Z, it says, has always had all that in their lives. The iPhone launched in 2007, when the oldest Gen Zers were 10. “By the time they were in their teens, the primary means by which young Americans connected with the web was through mobile devices, WiFi and high-bandwidth cellular service….

“The implications of growing up in an ‘always on’ technological environment are only now coming into focus. Recent research has shown dramatic shifts in youth behaviors, attitudes and lifestyles – both positive and concerning – for those who came of age in this era. (Italics added)

Let’s check down through other possibilities, using the facts we know, plus reason.

Is America undergoing a vast sea change in biology, with people’s orientation actually changing? Is America turning queer?

I find no scientific evidence to support that, although sperm counts in the Western world have dropped 50% in 40 years.

That is scary, but does not seem related to sexual orientaion. 

That leaves psychological and social causes.

Before I turn to that, I remember the acronym LWIC that I first heard in the ‘90s.

It stands for Lesbian While In College, reflecting on women being more open to same-sex experimentation than men.

I know many straight women who confess to smooching — or more — other women, often with a mention that they were young, or drunk, or both. College is a hothouse of all kinds of experimentation. 

It doesn’t mean the women were lesbian. That brings to mind Anne Heche, the actress who was straight until 1997 when she moved in with Ellen DeGeneres, then decided three years later — nope, I’m not a lesbian after all. Almost as if to prove it, she married and divorced two men in succession. 

Not long ago, Katy Perry recorded, “I Kissed a Girl.” It was a hit.

Justin Timberlake had no cover called, “I Kissed a Boy.”

Straight men don’t make out with each other, although around puberty some may engage in experimental homosexual acts. It’s kept very private.

Lesbians have both female and male fans — Howard Stern, for example, would literally drool over lesbians on his show  — while gay males seem to attract only other males, plus “fag hags” such as Bette Midler. 

Since show biz often is divorced from the real world, let’s move on.

If biology has not changed, acceptance has.

Philadelphia Gay News founder and publisher Mark Segal points at two things — visibility and spectrum.

“Once you have visibility” — which gay people have in abundance in sports, entertainment and politics — “people are no longer believing all the myths against gay people,” he says. That makes it easier for people to come out.

His other point was spectrum — where on the sexual/political horizon you place yourself.

That calls for another brief diversion.

Facebook offers members a choice of 56 gender selections. 

Some sources list as many as 74.

That is a tough number for some people (like me) to swallow. It comes at the same moment that the woke are insisting the concept of race is nothing but a social construct.

Race is, and gender is not?

There were 2 genders when I was growing up, 12 about 20 years ago, now 74, a number that comes out of the addled groves of academia. Endless subdivisions can carry it forward until no one is cisgender.

I had thought about the acceptance angle myself, knowing that about 70% of Americans favor gay marriage. That would embolden many to leave the closet.

But wouldn’t that affect older gays as well?

Why wouldn’t the number of gay boomers be, well, booming?

Possibly because they have already arrived, they have their place in history, while kids have a need to belong, and increasing numbers are choosing to identify as members of a club that is  “different.” 

Youth also like to rebel. Maybe they adopt queerness as a way of rebelling? At least some of them?

Have I missed anything? 

Yes, and this gets even more touchy.

Two parents sued their Florida school district even before the recent Parental Rights in Education law was passed.

In a federal complaint filed last October, the mother, a licensed mental health counselor named January Littlejohn, claimed the school district made decisions about her admittedly gender confused 13-year-old daughter without her knowledge or consent, and interfered with her parental rights.

Covid lockdowns caused a decline in her three childrens’ mental health, she admitted.

Her daughter had “a friend group that was obsessed with anything to do with LGBTQ letters. Three of the children had come out as non-binary or transgender within three months time,” Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn was surprised when her daughter talked about gender confusion because she never had before. Mom suspected peer influence.

She arranged mental counseling for her daughter and told the school it could use a nickname her daughter had selected, but the school was not to engage in “gender affirming” action — which she claims it did.

The point that jumped out at me was the three peers “going gay,” almost like they caught a communicable virus. 

On Twitter, a teacher claimed 20 of her 32 students had come out, and she wanted to support them in any  way possible.

I can’t confirm that tweet, but it sounds plausible. 

20 of 32?

Almost two-thirds? Really?

What could account for such staggering numbers?

At the same time — probably unrelated, but worth mentioning — the rate of suicide among the young is going through the roof.

Each trend should have people asking why, but I am not hearing much of that. 

Many conservatives and deeply religious people think the gender confusion comes from indoctrination in the schools, but I don’t think that is it.

It may be “indoctrination” from a society that not only accepts gay people, but celebrates them in a manner heterosexuals are not. (Not that there’s anything wrong with affirmation, in itself.) 

With slight exaggeration, I say almost every popular TV series has a gay character who is charming, funny, lovable, and loyal. Who wouldn’t want to have a friend like that, or be like that?

In almost every entertainment awards show, someone praises God and someone else makes reference to their non-binary status. When do straight people go popping off about their sexuality? 

Impressionable kids are surrounded by favorable chatter about being queer, which has achieved almost a cult status.

Even the word gay sounds like fun. 

What I am suggesting here is the power of suggestion.

Are you old enough to remember the McMartin pre-school child sexual abuse scandal?

In what was then the longest and costliest trial in American history, charges were brought against California teachers for sexually molesting their students, based on testimony from children.

The children were either mimicking what they had heard from their peers, or were deliberately or accidentally coached by police detectives, supported by so-called sexual abuse experts, who were desperate to break up what they thought was a ring of raging, raping pedophiles.

There was no ring of pedophiles. It was groupthink.

In cases stretching back to the Salem witch trials, we have seen incidents of mass hysteria.

 Is this gay explosion another?

I am asking a legitimate question and hope it will be taken that way, although I fully expect to be called a “homophobe.”

There is something substantial happening to our children, and we are entitled to straight answers, pun intended.

28 thoughts on “We need straight answers for Gen Z gay explosion”

  1. Stu, you’re a brave man to even ask these questions for you will be labeled a homophobe.

  2. Stu, I believe the most accurate answer is since society is becoming more tolerant as to someone’s sexuality, and much less condeming, more people are willing to admit to what they feel they are.

    Society has become more tolerant. Media has been allowed to “push the boundaries” so to speak, in a number of ways. Be it profanity, sexuality, nudity, etc. each generation has allowed more, in certain areas, than those before them.

    Maybe this is a part of natural evolution, maybe it is not. I seriously doubt it is any power of suggestion. If anything it is the power of curiosity.

    The real problem is not with people changing. It is with the people who are resistant to ANY change. The people who want to stifle growth or change. People who want to keep things status quo because they are afraid of change for a number of reasons.

      1. I think the premise of greater acceptance in society is less important than the level of acceptance among one’s peers, not to mention folks with an established set of family relationships and dynamics. The price of “coming out” is much greater, and rocks many more boats for these folks than for the youth of the country. Also, I expect that sexual identity issues are much less central. As a comedian, whose name I can’t recall, said, “It’s not that I’m no longer interested in sex, it’s just that I want to check what’s on cable first.” In other words the price is higher and the payoff smaller for older generations. The “social acceptance” you talk about is not a blanket, it is just a statistic, stronger in some parts of the population than others.

  3. There is a HUGE difference between ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance.’ I am tolerant of homosexuals (male and female — I won’t play the name game), but I will never accept homosexuality as ‘normal.’ And it is laughable to think of 74 genders! Have we gone mad as a society? One may call oneself whatever one desires, but that will not change what nature wrought: male and female.

    1. Vince, if you look through history you will find a number of things that began as tolerable and became accepted.

      I will not say your feelings are wrong sinple because they are your feelings. You have the right to feel the way you want. I will say I disagree with how you feel. That is my right.

      1. Can you cite something in history that began as tolerable and became accepted that is on the level of homosexuality? I would be interested in such a citation. And, yes, you have a right to disagree with me; that goes without question. Doesn’t make you right…or wrong, just disagreeing.

        1. Vince, I was not comparing anything to any other thing so without doing research I cannot answer your question. In addition someone else may consider homosexuality less severe than you do so a comparison to something might not resonate with you the same as it would with others. Once again we are speaking about opinions.

          1. If you have no evidence of “something in history that began as tolerable and became accepted” [your words], then you should not have stated it as an absolute, such as when you said, “If you look through history you will find…etc.” Frankly, I cannot think of one historical situation that was ‘tolerable’ and which is now ‘accepted.’

          2. Vince, to clarify what I said: Since I do not know what you consider more, or less serious than homosexuality I cannot answer your question. I can site things that were originally not acceptable and morphed to tolerated nad accepted but I believe that would not appease you.

        2. How about interracial marriage in the United States? Since the founding of America interracial marriage was intolerable and even illegal. Eventually the laws were overturned and over time it became tolerable, today it is acceptable.

          1. Eric, you are correct about interracial marriages.

            There are quite a few, just on the topic of race, that could be mentioned. The problem, as I tried to tell Vince, is I do not know his though process. Somewhat knowing Vince from here I believe any I mention to him would be met with him saying they are not as serious as homosexuality. I cannot argue with that because of what he feels. While I could be wrong about what Vince would say since he has not responded we will never know.

  4. Ahhh the POWER of suggestion on the young and impressionable.While browsing for a picture book in the downtown Barnes and Noble I came across the gem”The hips on the drag queens go swish swish swish”.The cover depicted 3 drag queens arms linked and kicking it high.Since it is a woke version of the wheels on the bus ditty the book is clearly aimed for toddlers.No male gay friend of mine thought this was appropriate.The new Disney Toystory will feature a gay kiss.I wonder how this will go over.Anita Bryant was mocked for suggesting the gay community was after your children.A Disney executive has claimed that she does indeed shove as much gay material as she can.Dont tell me their isn’t an agenda.

  5. Does indoctrination of an idea through the schools, media and Hollywood make it acceptable. It is a process that has become commonplace with the advancement of the internet. Commercials mostly exhibit African American actors exclusively since the recent riots. There is a subliminal message being delivered, acceptance. The same messaging for acceptance of gays, transsexuals and others is delivered through the media to gain legitimacy. Individuals have choices when receiving these ideas. Parents have a right to influence their children’s nurturing and education. When the child becomes an adult they can make their own decisions about morality. Kids need to go out and play in the playground and neighborhoods after school and turn off the internet. Get exercise not indoctrination.

    1. The fact that commercials no reflect more of what America looks like is not only due to public outcry. It is also due to the fact that businesses and marketing agencies have finally realized that not everyone who buys there products is white.

    2. Aloysius, what about the indoctrination some children get from their parents teaching them to hate?

  6. Random thoughts:

    Is it safe to assume all other species in the animal kingdom have experienced similar “gender evolutions?”

    It seems “straight” answers are becoming increasingly difficult to find.

    Best regards, Baby Boomer (formerly known as Homo neanderthalensis)

    p.s.- Strongly considering keeping my day job as comedic efforts might have fallen short.

      1. Actually, an enormous number of other species display homosexual behavior. Given the absence of any social taboos, it might be interesting to look at the prevalence among them to get a baseline of a “natural percentage”. For example, it’s been reported that among sheep “About 10% of rams (males), refuse to mate with ewes (females) but do readily mate with other rams.” Unclear how many ewes prefer ewes. If one assumes its similar, that puts the baseline way above even Gen Z.

        1. If your assumption about ewes is correct, then sheep are slightly above Gen Z
          the question is this: how long have 10% of rams been gay? Is that number rising, as with humans?
          We know this for certain: If homosexuality reaches 100%, the species dies.
          The prime directive of any species is to procreate and continue your OWN line. That is why lions often kill cubs fathered by others.
          That is natural behavior.

  7. As my above comments show, I think the issue is quite interesting, but I really can’t bring myself to care about the percentage of homosexuals or other gender identities that exist in the population. Since when has any generation made good choices in their sexual activity? People are what they are. When I was in high school nobody pressured me to look at girls. I couldn’t look away. If, as has been reported to me, gay kids were in the same boat in terms of looking at their same sex, how in the heck could they stop being gay? Personally I always wonder about people that think folks can be “recruited” away from their sexual drives. Which sex did they look at in high school?

    Sure, there are all kinds of social pressures at school to be popular, and maybe for a while claiming a gender identity of some sort will help with that, just as once one had to hide being gay to prevent social ostracism. Personally, I had to beg my mom to buy me a pair of Adidas, or my social life would have been dead. Nobody thought it was vital that we find out why that was so. (BTW, I no longer need a pair.) My view is, one’s nature will out. Centuries of social and legal suppression, such as throwing Oscar Wilde in jail, didn’t stamp out homosexuality–not even close. Heterosexuality is in no danger of being stamped out by “recruiting” or “indoctrination.” I guarantee it. What, precisely, is the panic and the concern even about? All this hand-wringing just makes it even cooler cause the uncool are all in a tizzy about it. A shoulder shrug would be far more effective in blunting the trend than all this pearl-clutching.

    1. Tom A, what you said so eloquently can also be said as “live and let live”

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