LGBTQ+ student self-identification at Brown University has reached 38 percent of the student body, according to polling data collected by school’s student newspaper, the Brown Daily Herald.
The Herald first collected data on Brown University students’ sexual orientation in 2010, when it found that around 14 percent of respondents said they were not straight, a proportion which has now more than doubled.
Brown University’s percentage of LGBTQ+ identifying students is more than five times the national rate, according to a 2022 Gallup survey which found 7.1 percent of U.S. adults, and 19.7 percent of those aged 18 to 25, identify as LGBT.
The student paper’s semesterly poll has expanded its identification options since 2010—in the Spring 2022 poll the Herald added “Queer,” “Pansexual,” “Asexual,” and “Questioning/Unsure” as possible responses.
Bisexual was the most common identification among LGTBQ+ responses at 53.7 percent.
Only 22.9 percent of self-identified LGBTQ+ respondents described themselves as gay or lesbian in the 2023 poll, which the Herald notes is down from 46 percent from their Fall 2010 survey.
The Herald’s poll only added options related to gender identity in Spring 2022.
Their 2023 survey found that 4.9 percent of poll respondents identified at non-binary or genderqueer, slightly over 10 times the 0.46 percent of U.S. adults that identify as non-binary, according to a 2021 Williams Institute study.
One Brown student told the Herald that they attributed the rise in LGBTQ+ identifying students to an increased openness toward queer people.
“Queer people haven’t been able to be open in their identifications for that long,” Brown student Josephine Kovecses told the Herald. “So it’s exciting that the numbers are growing and that queer people are able to be open in particular at Brown.”
In February 2023 the Maine Wire reported on data from the Maine Department of Education (MDOE) that showed 29.3 percent of Maine high school students identified as non-heterosexual or transgender in 2021.
According to the MDOE data collected during its 2021 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey (MIYHS), 12.3 percent of the 29.3 non-heterosexual or transgender identifying high school students answered they were bisexual.
Additionally, 4.6 percent of those respondents described themselves as “questioning,” 4.9 percent said they have a sexual orientation not offered on the survey, 3.9 percent identified as gay or lesbian, and 3.6 percent said they were transgender.
Maine high school students exhibit a similar trend to Brown University students, with the number of LGBT-identifying students increasing sharply since 2017.
The number of Maine students who said they were LGB or T has quintupled since 2009 and doubled from 2017 to 2021, according to MDOE survey data.