LGBT in America

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What Is LGBT?

One of the most common questions people have about LGBT is, what does LGBT stand for? LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. These describe the sexual orientations of people who are LGBT. It is a term that was adopted because it is a more inclusive and friendly way to describe people who identify themselves as one of these sexualities. Gay is a limited term and just because someone doesn’t identify as straight doesn’t mean that they are gay. LGBT is an apter term to use because it recognizes various sexual orientations.

What Is the LGBT Community?

The LGBT community is a group of people who support LGBT rights. This name does not include everyone that is part of LGBT, as the community includes many other sexual orientations. It also includes the Straight Allies, which are people who identify as heterosexual and support LGBT rights. Some sources may use LGBTQ or LGBT+ due to the growing support of LGBT rights and the inclusion of other sexual orientations.  The LGBT community includes people who identify with a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, heterosexuals who support LGBT rights and various LGBT organizations.

How Many People Are LGBT?

So, how big is the  LGBT community in the US? According to a survey taken in 2017, about 5.1% of the population identifies as LGBT. Around 4.5% of the population identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual, while 0.6% identify themselves as transgender. These numbers might not sound that impressive, but the US has one of the biggest populations in the world. This survey tells us there are about 11.7 million people in the US that identify as LGBT. Surveys also show that, from least to greatest, San Francisco, Chicago, LA and New York are the cities with the highest LGBT populations.

Is LGBT Legal in the US?

The LGBT community has had some major legal victories in recent years. Homosexuality was banned in the US until 2003 and in 2015 gay marriage became legal across the country. For those who are transgender, it is legal to change your gender on your birth certificate and other important documents. It is also legal to have gender reassignment surgery. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed in 2011 and the ban against transgenders serving in the military was lifted in 2016.

However, the LGBT community is still fighting for certain rights. For example, while it is legal in many states for same-sex couples to adopt, there are still limitations. In some states, couples have to be married to adopt. In others, they have to be single. Some states leave the laws ambiguous, so it is unclear whether or not same-sex couples have a legal right to adopt. While it is legal to change your gender identity, some states require proof that you have already undergone gender reassignment surgery. There are no explicit laws against housing discrimination. These laws vary from region to region and could potentially leave LGBT people at risk.


The LGBT community is a group of people who either identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc. or support LGBT rights. It also includes LGBT organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG, Lambda Legal, GLAAD and many more. The US has a pretty large LGBT population, with around 11.7 million people identifying as either gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. The community has made major legal strides in recent years. People in the LGBT community are legally allowed to be married across the US, LGBT can openly serve in the military and transgenders are legally allowed to change their gender. That being said, the LGBT community is still fighting for equal rights.


There are a lot of people and organizations in the LGBT community. If you or someone you know is struggling with sexual identity or discrimination, there are resources out there to offer you advice and assistance.