New Democracy Maps

Introductory Series

LGBTQ people in the United States have families, work hard to earn a living, pay taxes, and serve their communities and their country. Recent research by Gallup finds that 4.5% of the adult U.S. population identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Applying these figures to the total number of adults in the U.S., this suggests that there are roughly 11 million LGBTQ adults nationwide.  

The “Understanding” series is designed to provide broad overviews into the lives, experiences, disparities, and strengths of LGBTQ people, LGBTQ older adults, transgender people, and bisexual people.

Related Resources


LGBT People with Disabilities

July 2019  - In light of the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA), this infographic provides a short summary of what we know about LGBT people with disabilities in the United States.


Understanding Issues Facing LGBT People in the U.S.

June 2019  - Understanding Issues Facing LGBT People in the U.S. is a short primer that summarizes the major areas in which unfair laws and stigma create extra burdens for LGBT people across the country. The guide also includes policy recommendations to address these harmful disparities and to improve the lives of LGBT Americans.


Understanding Issues Facing LGBT Older Adults

May 2017 - There are approximately 2.7 million LGBT adults aged 50 and older in the United States, 1.1 million of whom are 65 and older. This report provides an overview of their unique needs and experiences so that service providers, advocates, the aging network, and policymakers can consider these factors when serving this population or passing laws that impact older adults and the LGBT community.


Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans

February 2015 - Coauthored by the Movement Advancement Project, the Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality, with partnership by GLAAD, Understanding Issues Facing Transgender Americans provides a high-level introduction for advocates and allies to the issues facing transgender Americans, as well as recommendations for change.


Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans

September 2014 - Co-authored by the Movement Advancement Project, BiNet USA and the Bisexual Resource Center, Understanding Issues Facing Bisexual Americans is a new resource offering an overview of the economic and health disparities facing the bisexual community, and recommendations for supporting bisexual people through advocacy, research and programming.

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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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