A recent study from the Cultural Currents Institute found that Google searches for questions surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity have surged over the past 20 years.
Searches for questions like “Am I lesbian?” and “Am I gay?” have increased by up to 1300%. Other common searches include “Am I trans?” and “How to come out.”
The Cultural Currents Institute, an organization studying trends in public opinion, collected Google Trends data between January 2004 and present day across all 50 states to render its findings.
Data by state found that Utah ranks highest for the most number of questions like “Am I gay?” “Am I lesbian?” and “Am I trans?” A surprising statistic for a red state with primarily conservative values. The states with the highest search volume for “Am I gay?” also included Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.
The correlation between geographical location and most common questions are striking. In starkly conservative states like Mississippi and Kentucky phrases like “How to come out” were more common than in more liberal leaning states. Oklahoma had the highest search volume for “How to come out” over the past year, along with West Virginia and Louisiana. However, these same states were in the lowest LGBTQ equality category in the 2022 State Equality Index that the Human Rights Campaign published. The institute suggests this “could indicate a more challenging environment for self-disclosure of identity.”
According to Pink News, “LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall explained that knowing the new census data is a ‘wake-up call’ for politicians to care for the community.”