Our Tomorrow
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Our Tomorrow is an opportunity to share your voice and hear about our community’s hopes, fears and ideas for the future. Here, you can learn about our community from studies conducted by leading researchers on LGBTQ issues.

A Look at Our Lives:   From Childhood through the Golden Years

LGBTQ people encounter unique challenges and opportunities in different stages of our lives. Explore the information below to learn about issues we face throughout our lives.

Growing Up

Childhood & Adolescence

LGBTQ youth start questioning their sexuality and gender as pre-teens—and come out as teens.
The median age when LGB adults first felt they might not be heterosexual was 12.

In the 1980s, 21 was the average age of coming out. Today, it's 16.
Source: National Gay And Lesbian Task Force
For people who identify as trans, questions can start at an early age.
According to psychologists, children begin to identify with their unique gender identity between ages 3 and 6.

Source: John Hopkins Children’s Center
Educators are exploring the need for TRANS-FRIENDLY POLICIES AND CURRICULUM at the preschool level.
Source: Journal of Gay & Lesbian Issues in Education
LGBTQ youth worry about being accepted —by their families, peers and communities.

Most LGBTQ youth describe their peers and schools as accepting.

homeless youth in the U.S. are LGBTQ.
Source: Center for American Progress
LGB youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.
Source: The Trevor Project
Most LGBTQ youth report being verbally and physically harassed at school—some by teachers.
8 out of 10 LGBTQ youth report being verbally harassed in the past year.

5 out of 10 LGBTQ youth report hearing homophobic remarks from teachers or other school staff.

1 out of 3 LGBTQ students report physical harassment—and 17% report physical assault.

LGBTQ youth are as optimistic about their future as their non-LGBTQ peers are.
83% of LGBTQ youth say they believe that they’ll be happy some day.

At school, LGBT youth are twice as likely as their peers to be disciplined for age-appropriate romantic activities, like holding hands or hugging.
Source: Columbia Gender & Law Journal

Going to College

LGBTQ people who go to college might not find campus to be a safe haven.
25% of on-campus hate crimes reported by U.S. colleges and universities were related to sexual orientation

Those of us who identify as trans face additional challenges on campus.
Many schools assign trans students to dormitories based on their sex at birth — or place them in single rooms or require them to find off-campus housing.

Nearly 1/4 of trans adults surveyed say they’ve been denied access to appropriate bathrooms and facilities in college.

57 of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer health insurance plans that cover hormone treatments and gender confirmation surgeries.

colleges and universities in the US, lack basic discrimination policies covering sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Source: Center for American Progress

Going to Work

About half of LGBTQ adults say their workplaces are accepting—but do not mention their sexual orientation or gender identity to others at work.

51% of LGBTQ adults say their workplaces are “very accepting. “very accepting.”

53% of LGBTQ employees hide their sexual orientation or transition history at work.

One in 4 LGBTQ people report hearing overtly anti-LGBTQ jokes in the workplace.
Source: Center for American Progress

Overall, we're less financially secure than our non-LGBTQ peers.

Only 29% of LGBTQ adults are considered to be “thriving” financially, compared to 39% of non-LGBTQ adults.

29% of LGBTQ adults say there are times when they don't have enough money for food, compared to 18% of non-LGBTQ adults.

Many LGBTQ adults say they have been treated unfairly because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
1 in 10 LGBTQ workers have been fired from a job within the past five years because they identify as LGBTQ.

47% of trans people surveyed report having been fired, or denied a job or promotion because of their gender identity.

Falling in Love

Most LGBTQ adults are in committed relationships.
21% currently live with a partner

16% in committed relationships but not living together

16% of LGBTQ adults are currently married

Many LGBTQ people hope to marry some day.

52% of LGBTQ adults say they'd like to eventually get married.

Finding Housing

We can face challenges in finding a
home to call our own.
32% of LGBTQ people own their homes, compared to 65% of their peers.

Source: Center for American Progress

Raising Families

of LGBT adults are parents, through birth or adoption.
Source: PEW
Children raised by LGBTQ parents are just as successful and happy as their peers.
Children raised by same-sex parents are just as resilient as those raised by opposite-sex couples—despite legal barriers and social stigma. Several other factors have a greater influence on children’s overall well-being.

Children of two-mother lesbian homes reported higher self-esteem and fewer substance abuse issues than those raised in father-mother homes.

Many LGBTQ people hope to become parents one day.
51% of LGBT adults either have children or would like to have children some day.

LGBTQ couples of color are more likely to be parents.
40% of African-Americans

28% of Latinos and Latinas

24% of American Indians/Alaska Natives in same-sex couples are raising children, compared to

16% of their white counterparts.


LGBTQ seniors often lack social networks for support after retirement.
40% say their support networks have diminished over time.

LGBTQ seniors represent a growing population.
In 2011, nearly 10% of LGBTQ couples included at least one senior aged 65 or older.

In 2005, that number was just 7.5%

LGBTQ seniors report having more worries about aging than their non-LGBTQ peers
51% of LGBTQ seniors say they’re “extremely” concerned about having enough money to live.

44% of LGBTQ seniors worry they’ll have to work well past the age of retirement—versus only 26% of their non-LGBTQ peers.

55% of trans adults fear they’ll be denied medical care when they’re seniors.

13% of LGBTQ seniors say they’ve faced discrimination when looking for housing.


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Hope Fear Idea

The campaign is now over

but you can still explore the

hopes, fears and ideas for our future shared

by LGBTQ people across the country