Americans think more than one in five people are gay, and while that’s a great thought, it’s far from the truth, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll reveals that Americans “greatly overestimate” the number of gays in the U.S. Though latest estimates put the LGBT population at about 3.8%, Americans on average put that number at 23%.

According to Gallup Daily tracking — an ongoing study since 2012 — 3.8% of 50,000 adults interviewed during the first four months of 2015 identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Since 2002, however, Americans have believed that at least 21% of the population is LGBT.

While their opinions on the number of gays have more or less stayed the same, Americans’ acceptance has increased dramatically:

Whereas 38% of Americans said gay and lesbian relations were morally acceptable in 2002, that number has risen to 63% today. And while 35% of Americans favored legalized same-sex marriage in 1999, 60% favor it today.

That’s cute and all, but it kind of begs the question, if Americans think there are so many gays hanging around, why would they be satisfied with denying such a large percentage of the population equal rights? I mean, call me crazy, but 23% — while a speculative number — is a really large chunk, especially when you consider that 13.8% of Americans are black and 17.7% are Hispanic or Latino.

Of course, numbers shouldn’t matter when it comes to fair protection under the law, so maybe America just has really shitty gaydar and we’ll just leave it at that.

Take a look at some of the numbers from Gallup’s poll below:


poll 2poll 3

Les Fabian Brathwaite — lousy with gay since 1985.

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated