After a year that saw most large-scale public events placed on hold, 2021’s Pride Month has ushered in a far more triumphant spirit by comparison. Parades, dance parties, and outdoor concerts are back in cities where coronavirus restrictions are primarily lifted. And, while Pride Month is devoted to celebrating identity and remembering the strides of past generations, it also becomes a sort of arms race for businesses to better understand the rapidly increasing consumer base that makes up the LGBTQ+ community.
CivicScience recently conducted a deep profile of LGBTQ+ Americans, with a wide-ranging focus on their preferences in key lifestyle and consumer habits. The community has risen in numbers so far this century, with 23% of those 13 and older not identifying as heterosexual. Given that Gen Z overlaps with a significant share of LGBTQ+ Americans, we can only expect these figures to rise in the coming years.
About This Data
CivicScience developed a method for comparing segments of the population among key attributes of consumer behavior. Within each index, the general population of Americans 13 and older is valued at 100 points and represented by a pink line. Each segment of the population is run through each index and ranked in relation to the 100-point baseline. Over-indexing will occur if a segment is more likely to exhibit an attribute than the Gen Pop (13+), therefore under-indexing will occur if a segment is less likely to exhibit an attribute.
Despite the broadly younger demographics, Facebook is the most likely social media platform to be used by anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. That said, there are some clear differences in favorability within the broader community. Transgender Americans are more likely to actively use Pinterest (36% — well exceeding the rate of any other identifier). Bisexual Americans are most likely to be active Instagram and Snapchat users — and they’re generally more likely to be influenced by social media, along with queer individuals. The broader LGBTQ+ community well outpaces the Gen Pop’s Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat use — and bisexual Americans are over three times more likely than the Gen Pop to use Snapchat.
Just over one-third of transgender individuals (34%) consider themselves to be price-sensitive, which slightly outpaces the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, and they’re the most price-sensitive when it comes to clothing and accessories (58%). Queer Americans aren’t far behind in the same category (56%), and the LGBTQ+ community outpaces the Gen Pop in every subfield of price sensitivity — except, curiously, for overall price consciousness.
Health and Wellness
Gay and lesbian Americans are most likely to say they have good overall health (82%) — a figure which not only outpaces all other subfields of the LGBTQ+ community, but also the Gen Pop (13+). Bisexual Americans, however, are simultaneously the most likely to value health and fitness (45%) and among the least likely to follow health and fitness trends (40%). An overwhelming majority of non-binary individuals — 85% — don’t smoke.
No community’s consumer practices and macro concerns are a monolith, and that’s never clearer than LGBTQ+ Americans’ different mindsets regarding climate change and sustainable food practices. Bisexual Americans are more than three times as likely (39%) as transgender individuals (12%) to rate themselves as “very concerned” about climate change. Transgender individuals are also least likely to buy environmentally-friendly products or claim to adjust their lifestyle to benefit the environment. Queer Americans are the least likely to purchase organic food.
Even in the wake of Carl Nassib becoming the first-ever openly gay active NFL player to great fanfare, sports remain an incredibly fraught space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Despite numerous statewide efforts to ban transgender athletes from competing at the high school level, transgender Americans outpace the rest of the LGBTQ+ community and Gen Pop’s habits for regularly attending sporting events (25% compared to just 9% of the Gen Pop).
As Pride Month comes to a close, so will much of popular and corporate culture’s acute focus on the LGBTQ+ community for the next 11 months. But the ever-rising segment of America will continue to live and adapt throughout the world — perhaps subverting all consumer expectations along the way. If you’re interested in deeper insights related to this report, please be in touch.