What does LGBTQ stand for


From Karin Schupp

February 19, 2020 - The English word "queer" - it means "deviating from the norm" - has a long career behind it: From the derogatory term for homosexuals, "queer" has been a self-confident self-designation since the 80s and 90s, especially at the beginning as a political location that refers to more than just same-sex sex, but today also as an umbrella term for all non-heterosexual sexualities that are not clearly gay or lesbian, and now often simply as a synonym for "lesbian" or "gay".

A research team from the UCLA School of Law has now for the first time looked at who identifies themselves as “queer” in the USA and evaluated the data from LGBTQ + people aged 18-59 years.

At least 6 percent of the LGBTQ + community are "queer"

The vast majority of respondents identified themselves with the classic terms “lesbian / gay” (47%) or “bisexual” (around 40%), 6% as “queer” and 7% as something else (eg “pansexual”, “asexual” ").

“Queer people make up a significant proportion of the sexual minorities,” the study report notes, and if you consider that the data are from 2016/2017, it can be assumed that their number has continued to rise in the meantime.

There are two main characteristics that distinguish queer people from other sexual minorities: gender and age. Those who identify as “queer” are mostly young and female or were born as a woman and are now non-binary / genderqueer.

Most queers are young women under 25

Women identify themselves much more often as "queer" than men: 83% of the queer respondents were born with female gender characteristics, 56% described themselves as "cis women" - only 10% as "cis men".

Over a third (34%) described themselves as “non-binary” or “genderqueer”, again predominantly people who were born as women. Lesbians, gays and bisexuals, on the other hand, stated that they were much less likely to be “genderqueer / non-binary” in this study.

Those who are queer are young: 76% of those who identify as “queer” were between 18 and 25 years old, only 2% came from the oldest age group (52-59 years).

Queer people are more open sexually

Queer cis women are most attracted to other cis women, but are more often than other respondent groups also open to trans, genderqueere / non-binary people.

Almost two thirds (62%) felt comfortable with cis and attracted trans women (while only 20% of lesbians and 38% of bisexual women said so), and they were also more likely to have trans sexual partners (male or female) than the other LGBTQ + subgroups.

Queer men were divided into two parts: over half (53%) felt attracted exclusively to men, 47% to men and women. The majority, however, have only had sex with men so far.

Queer men are most likely to have sex with trans men as well

Of all LGBTQ + people, queer men were the ones who were most open (72%) to trans men (but not to trans women) and who most often reported previous sexual contacts with trans men (30%).

Genderqueere and non-binary people were more often attracted to both cis and trans women and men than cis people, even if in practice they were predominantly with cis people.

“A queer identity seems to go hand in hand with a greater openness to partners of all gender identities,” the study concludes. "Some young people probably experience it as an identity that is more fluid than 'lesbian' and 'gay'."

Queer people in the US are more educated

It is also interesting that queer people in the USA tend to be more educated. 39% of the queer respondents had a college or university degree, 32% of the lesbians / gays, only 17% of the bisexuals and 25% of the other sexual minorities.

How politically queer people use their self-designation was unfortunately not part of the study.

“The findings from this survey, which was a few years old, should not be used to complete the definition of 'queer' or any other term,” emphasize the authors in their report. The only assumption that can be derived from their study is that “queer” is actually not just a buzzword, but that it can stand for a sexual identity of its own. But: “In order to fully understand this group, further research is necessary.” This could then also concern the question of whether the US results can also be transferred to Germany.

Shoshana K. Goldberg, Esther D. Rothblum, Stephen T. Russell, and Ilan H. Meyer: Exploring the Q in LGBTQ: Demographic characteristic and sexuality of queer people in a U.S. representative sample of sexual minorities. In: Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity, 2019


These studies are also interesting:

Lesbians more popular than gays - worldwide

Trans children: socialization in the wrong gender has no effect