LGBT Research : CMI’s 11th LGBT Community Survey®

LGBT Research

LGBT ResearchCommunity Marketing & Insights (CMI) has been conducting LGBT research for 25 years Our practice includes online surveys, in-depth interviews, intercepts, focus groups (on-site and online), and advisory boards in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Industry leaders around the world depend on CMI’s research and analysis as a basis for feasibility evaluation, positioning, economic impact, creative testing, informed forecasting, measurable marketing planning and assessment of return on investment.

LGBT Research on Participants and LGBTQ Identity:

Among the LGBT Research survey participants, the terms used to express sexual orientation, gender identity, and cultural identity are changing, especially among younger participants, and among those identifying as women or gender expansive. Gender expansive includes those who describe themselves as transgender, trans man, trans woman, intersex, non-binary gender, genderqueer, and/or gender fluid. Multiple identities were permitted in the question.

How do you identity within the LGBTQ community?(Please mark all that apply.) Gay & Bisexual Men Lesbians & Bisexual Women Gender Expansive Among All LGBT Millennials+ (Weighted by Gender Identity)
Lesbian or Gay Woman 82% 23% 34%
Gay Man 94% 13% 43%
Bisexual Woman 23% 10% 18%
Bisexual Man 9% 10% 6%
Pansexual 1% 5% 15% 7%
Same Gender Loving 3% 3% 6% 4%
Non-binary(sexual orientaLon) <1% 1% 6% 2%
Asexual 1% 2% 5% 3%
Queer 7% 18% 37% 24%
Transgender 1% 3% 45% 6%
Trans Man 1% <1% 22% 4%
Trans Woman <1% 3% 27% 3%
Genderqueer 1% 3% 21% 5%
Gender Fluid 1% 3% 21% 5%
Intersex <1% <1% 4% 1%
Agender <1% 1% 3% 1%

LGBT Research on Demographics

LGBT Research on Relationship Status:

In 2017, we continued to see increases in the number of participants who are married (up 4% from 2016). Also of note is that  gay and bisexual men are more likely than lesbian and bisexual womento define themselves as single. Lesbian and bisexual women are more likely than  gay and bisexual men to be married. Community members who identify as gender expansive are more likely than gay and bisexual men to be in relationships. For the first time, CMI added the following options: Polyamorous relationship, and divorced from a same-sex spouse.

LGBT Research on Marriage Trends:

We asked married participants how long ago they got married, as well as how long the period was between meeting and marriage. The results point to the surge in same-sex marriage over the past 5 years as various states, and then the Nation, adopted marriage equality. The data also suggests a slowing of same-sex marriages  that surge, because couples who had been together for many years before marriage equality are now married. In 2016, Community Marketing & Insights along with WeddingWire, Inc., GayWeddings and the Gay Wedding Institute published an extensive report on same-sex weddings, which is available for download at no charge at www.CMI.info.

LGBT Research on Relationships:

As a new question in 2017, we wanted to explore and acknowledge that not all relationships are “binary;” a samesex or opposite-sex couple. Many community members are in a relationship where at least one partner identifies as other than male or female.

LGBT Research on Parents & Children:

Within the LGBT community, Generation X lesbian and bisexual women are the cohort most likely to be parents of a child under age 18. We also see higher percentages of parents among late-Millennials. Percentages of parents of children living at home were stable compared to 2016, however, that is likely to change in the future: About half of LGBT Millennials of all genders desire to have children in the future.

Where We Live: LGBT Research on Perceptions of Community Friendliness

LGBT Research on Living Environment:

LGBT community members live in a wide variety of communities. Gay and bisexual male participants report that they are more likely to live in big cities, compared to lesbian and bisexual women. Also of note is the wide variety of communities where participants who identify as gender expansive live. This emphasizes the importance of national and statewide anti-discrimination laws to protect all gender expansive community members, not just laws in the big cities.

LGBT Research on friendly Perceptions of Country, State and Community:

Canadians are far more likely than United States residents to consider their country LGBT-friendly. However, that difference starts to even out when asked about their local communities. Most LGBT participants considered their local community to be LGBT-friendly, which may be an indication that LGBT people move to places where they feel more welcome. The state-by-state analysis was most fascinating, as people living in “blue” states had high praise for their state and local community, and those living in deep “red” states had negative perceptions of their state, but more positive perceptions of their local community.

Lgbt Research
Reference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

 

LGBT Research on friendly Perceptions of Type of Community

United States LGBT community members living in big cities feel far more positive about their local communities than do those living in rural America. Only about half of those living in rural areas and small towns felt that their local communities were LGBT-friendly. However, many of these rural LGBT Americans had more favorable perceptions about their states, suggestion that many may live in rural areas of more progressive states.

LGBT Research on friendly Perceptions by Gender and Generation:

There are clear gender differences in LGBT-friendliness perceptions. Gay and bisexual men are somewhat more positive than lesbian and bisexual women about their communities. Participants who identify as gender expansive are least positive about their communities. No substantial differences in perceptions were found when evaluating this question by generation. Read more..

Lgbt Research
Reference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Research on Employment and  Business Owners

LGBT Research on Employment:

LGBT participants have a wide variety of employment situations. In 2017, we wanted to look at some LGBT-specific implications of LGBT employment.

LGBT Research on Power of Business Spending:

Many studies have focused on the power of LGBT consumer spending. This question looks at LGBT spending from a different perspective: LGBT community members who control budgets for their employers. As indicated in charts below, being an LGBT-friendly company influences purchasing power beyond the individual, and may significantly impact business spending.

LGBT Research on Business Owners:

A healthy 11% of LGBT participants indicated that they are self-employed or a small business owner. Most (90%) were small businesses with fewer than 10 employees. Fewer than 10% of the LGBT-owned businesses are registered as LGBT Business Enterprises, indicating that significant growth may be achieved in these programs in the coming years. Community Marketing & Insights is an NGLCC Certified LGBT-Owned Business Enterprise.

LGBT Research on Consumer Purchasing

LGBT Economic Outlook:

The LGBT community generally has a positive economic outlook, with 51% viewing their economic situation favorably, 34% neutrally, and 14% negatively. There was not a significant overall index change in economic outlook since 2016, but there was a small downgrade of those who felt “very positive,” moving to just “positive.”

Alcohol Consumption (Age 21+ and Consumed at Least 1 Drink in the Past Week):

Among those who consumed at least one alcohol drink in the past week, there are some clear demographic differences. Millennial gay and bisexual men are the most frequent alcohol consumers (by far), especially of clear and dark spirits. Beer consumption is relatively even by gender. Wine is the most popular alcohol beverage for Baby Boomers.

Lgbt Research
Reference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Research on Brand Recall:

Every year, CMI asks an unaided “write-in” recall question about brands that participants make a conscious decision to purchase from, because of their pro-LGBT policies or practices. In 2017, we saw Target, Apple, Starbucks and Amazon retain their top four rankings. New to the top 12 rankings are Disney, Nike, and Ben & Jerry’s.

LGBT Research on Political Change

LGBT Research on Movement Priorities by Demographic

This section explores various LGBT political and social concerns, and ranks their importance by demographic within the LGBT community. Companies and organizations that understand and authentically address the nuance within LGBT will have a far be\er chance at successful communications. For example, supporting the charities of the community segment in focus could have a very favorable impact.

Top 3 Concerns with Broad Support
1. Stopping anti-LGBT “religious freedom” legislation
2. LGBT youth issues
3. Supporting LGBT-friendly political candidates

What the following charts show, perhaps not surprisingly, is that the diverse LGBT communities are correspondingly diverse on their top priorities, largely based on their other demographics. Being able to step outside your demographics and supporting the needs of others within the LGBT community may well be important for the entire community to expand poliLcal and social freedoms on all fronts.

  • Transgender rights was the top concern for participants that identify as gender expansive, and quite high with lesbian and bisexual women.
  • HIV education and care remains a priority for gay and bisexual men. HIV education and care was also quite high for African American participants.
  • Reducing the social & legal obstacles of LGBT parenting was a top concern for Millennials, which is interesting since most Millennial are not parents (but a large number want to be parents in the future).
  • Expanding LGBT senior care was a top concern for Baby Boomers.
  • Ethnic / racial equality within the LGBT community was the top concern for African American LGBT community members as well as Asian and Latino LGBTs.
  • Expanding LGBT roles, visibility and influence in rural areas was important for those living in rural and small communities.
  • International LGBT rights were most important for Latino and Asian LGBT community members.

LGBT Research on Movement Priorities by Gender and Generation

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Research on Movement Priorities by Ethnicity

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Movement Priorities by Community Type

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Rights, Safety, and Equality Statements:

With the changing political environment in the United States, the LGBT community may feel less secure than it did in the recent past. More than 75% indicated that they fear the loss of LGBT civil rights recently gained, and the LGBT community expressed a desire to support companies that support LGBT equality.

USA Social, Political & Economic Climate Forecast:

Overall, LGBT community members are negative about the political and social direction of the country in every indicator tested.

LGBT Research on International Travel to the USA:

With study participation from around the world, the survey gauged the implications of recent political changes for international travel to the United States. These two questions, fielded only to non-USA residents, yielded mixed results. On one hand the intention to travel to the United States was still reasonably high. However, among those not intending to visit, most cited political reasons for  not visiting, vs. practicalities such as money or lack of time. CMI will revisit this question in 2018 to gauge actual travel to the U.S. among these  international travelers.

The Power of Pride:

With recent political changes in the United States, Pride a\endance should increase in the United States in 2017, compared to 2016. 63% of LGBT Americans surveyed said that they will a\end (or already have a\ended) their hometown Pride in 2017. This is compared to 47% having a\ended their hometown Pride events last year, representing a 34% increase in interest and participation for 2017.

LGBT Research Terminology

Favorability of Terms:

From a corporate marketing perspective, ”LGBT” remains the most popular term to describe the community (and
why CMI continues to use it in this report). “LGBTQ” gained significant positive response over the past year, especially among gay and bisexual men. CMI now views “LGBTQ” to be a positive word for corporations to use today, with li\le negative downside. CMI also noted that “LGBT-friendly” is far more popular than “gay-friendly,” which can now be seen as exclusionary of the L, B and T. The term GLBT has a below 40% favorability rating even among men, and CMI recommends that corporations stop using the term.

Favorability of Terms:

The term “LGBT” is perceived favorably across all generations. However, for the first time “LGBTQ” is the preferred
term among Millennials, and also for the first time, now has an over 50% approval rating for Baby Boomers. Also of note, is that the term “gayfriendly” now has a non-positive rating among Millennials, who prefer “LGBT-friendly.” The term “LGBT+” (the + sign representing all the other le\ers in this case) has also become more popular in the last year, especially among Millennials.

LGBT vs. LGBTQ:

One of the most common questions that CMI has received in the past few years is if corporations should move from
addressing the community from “LGBT” to “LGBTQ.” Based on recent data, CMI believes that both can now be used safely. The advantages of “LGBT” is that the term is more favored by the overall community, has higher positive rates among Baby Boomers and the term is omen perceived as being “safer” by corporations. This is why CMI continues to use LGBT in this report. However, “LGBTQ” has made significant gains in the past few years, has the most support among Millennials, and now has minimal negatives across any demographic group.

LGBT Research Media and Organizations

LGBT  Research on Community and Anticipated Changes:

Most LGBT community members feel that ten years from now there will be increases in the number of people who identify as transgender or non-binary, straight allies, and bisexual. At the same time, the community feels more neutral as to whether there will be greater numbers of LGBT newspapers, LGBT-specific bars, or LGBT community members living in traditional LGBT
neighborhoods. These results were similar to the 2016 findings.

LGBT Research on Media Interaction (Past 12 Months):

Similar to 2016, participants reported increases in digital interaction with LGBT media, while print media interactions are stable over the past year. LGBT dating app use was relatively stable, but some decreases were reported in use by older generations.

LGBT Research on Media Interaction (Past 30 Days)

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

LGBT Research on Social Media Interaction (Past 30 Days)

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.

Other Types of LGBT Community Interactions (Past Year)

Lgbt ResearchReference: Community Marketing & Insights 11th Annual LGBT Community Survey, July 2017 n=17,300 USA LGBTs. Request a free download the full report.