Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress and Generation Progress released a new analysis showing that LGBTQI+ members of Generation Z face unique social and economic challenges, among them increased discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexuality. A 2020 nationally representative survey conducted by CAP and NORC at the University of Chicago found that LGBTQI+ members of Gen Z face higher levels of discrimination in areas including housing, school, and the workforce than reported by previous generations. This heightened discrimination results in higher rates of financial struggles, mental health issues, and housing instability among this population.
“Gen Z now makes up around 20 percent of the U.S. adult population,” said Edwith Theogene, director of advocacy at Generation Progress and co-author of the column. “The unique experiences of this generation—from growing up as digital natives to dealing with crises such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic—cannot be ignored as LGBTQI+ Gen Zers enter adulthood and face discrimination that too often prevents them from achieving economic security.”
Among the authors’ key findings:
- 57 percent of Gen Z respondents reported experiencing some form of discrimination in the year prior to CAP’s survey, compared with 42 percent of Millennials, 30 percent of Gen Xers, and 19 percent of Baby Boomers.
- 95 percent of Gen Z respondents reported that poor mental health had interfered with their daily life or activities to some degree in January 2020, compared with 88 percent of Millennials, 75 percent of Gen Xers, and 74 percent of Baby Boomers.
- 48 percent of Gen Z respondents reported that discrimination in the year prior to CAP’s survey had moderately to severely worsened their school environment.
- 47 percent of Gen Z respondents who reported discrimination in the year prior to the survey said that it has affected their financial well-being to some degree.
“As more young LGBTQI+ individuals feel safe living as their authentic selves, it is even more important that lawmakers prioritize policies that address the myriad disparities that Gen Z and future generations will face,” said Lindsay Mahowald, research assistant for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at CAP and co-author of the column.
Read the column: “LGBTQI+ Members of Generation Z Face Unique Social and Economic Concerns” by Lindsay Mahowald, Edwith Theogene, Han Le, and Ella Azoulay
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