"So are you gay or just going through a phase?" asked my mother when I told her for the first time I was dating a woman. We were at an Italian restaurant together, each of us at least two glasses of pinot in. “Uh, neither?” I responded, unsure of how to both appeal to my mother’s traditional sensibilities and stay at least somewhat true to myself and my own experiences.
A new comforting study done by GLAAD, called "Accelerating Acceptance," has revealed that significantly more Millennials identify as LGBTQ in comparison to older generations. Specifically, "Millennials are more than twice as likely (20% vs. 7%) to identify as LGBTQ than the Boomer generation (people ages 52-71) and two-thirds (20% vs. 12%) more likely than Generation X (people ages 35-51)."
The survey also shows that increasingly young people are identifying outside of traditional binaries such as “gay/straight” and “man/woman.” Around 12 percent of Millennials identify as transgender or gender-nonconforming—two times the number of reported Gen X’ers who identified as trans or gender-nonconforming (6 percent).
That dinner with my mother was almost 3 years ago, now—I still haven't decided what I am and I’m never sure what boxes I should check off as a straight-passing cis-gender girl/woman who cares little about the gender identity of my partners as long as they’re nice to me. I’m hesitant to embrace the term “bisexual,” as the word operates on the premise that there are only two genders and I just don’t buy that. I’m fluid, I’m queer, I’m open and more than anything, I realize that I need different partners with different personalities, different energies and maybe different gender identities at different points in my life.
Millennials grew up in an era with a heightened awareness of the world's rapidly accelerating decline of divorce rates at 50%, and we’re searching for happiness that defies, or in many ways transcends traditional notions of gender and love. Maybe we’re more fluid or perhaps we’ve developed an appreciation for the fact that everything is a phase, but still completely integral to our complex, ever-evolving identities. Read GLAAD's full report, here.