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Census reveals the jobs most popular with gay people

An airline steward
Posed by model (Photo: Shutterstock)

The US census doesn’t yet ask people questions about their sexual orientation. However, the 2021 census in England and Wales did introduce an optional question asking people how they identify their sexuality and gender identity.

The data is still being analyzed, but one organization has crunched the numbers of sexual orientation and professions.

PA Media found that there are four professions where at least one in ten identify as gay or bisexual. These are ‘coffee shop workers’ (10.8%), ‘Leisure/theme park attendants’ (11%), and ‘actors/entertainers/presenters’ (12.3%). Eclipsing all these was airline cabin crew, with 13.7% identifying as gay or bi (that’s almost one in seven).

Others in the top ten of favored gay occupations included artists (9.8%), bar staff (9.4%), arts officers/producers/directors (9.3%) and authors and writers (8.9%).

The researchers looked at around 370 different professions. It overlooked smaller ones that employed less than 10,000 people.

Construction scores low for gay workers

At the other end of the spectrum, the professions that had the least number of LGB people were: roofers, roof tilers and slaters at 0.5%. That’s approximately 250 of a 45,735-strong workforce.

Bricklayers, farmers and scaffolders came next (0.6%), while plumbers and window cleaners both recorded 0.7% (bad news for those hoping for a hot gay plumber arriving to fix their pipes).

A spokesperson for the International Association of Flight Attendants said, “Many people who identify as LGBTQ+ today work as flight attendants to be surrounded and supported by peers.

“Decades before the law caught up, we worked together to negotiate job protections for LGBTQ+ workers and secured domestic partner benefits in contracts. Our solidarity has allowed thousands of flight attendants to live and work as their authentic selves.”

The most common occupation across the entire country was sales and retail workers (1.1 million people). Of these, 4.5% said they were LGB.

In the overall census, around 3% of respondents over the age of 16 identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or pansexual. Eighty-nine percent identified as straight or heterosexual. Most of the remainder (around 8%) chose not to answer the question.

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