Up to 4 million LGBT people live in rural America, study has found

LGBT people in America USA

Research has found that LGBT+ people make up more of America’s rural population than is often depicted by mainstream culture.

According to the study by the Movement Advancement Project, between 2.9 million and 3.8 million LGBT+ people live in rural parts of America, meaning they make up around 5 percent of the population.

“Rarely do we see images of LGBTQ people in rural areas, and when we do, they are portrayed as the only one there and stick out like a sore thumb or a target of violence,” report author Logan Casey told USA Today.

LGBT+ people live in these areas for the same reason as everyone else

The research showed that LGBT+ people often choose to live in these areas for the same reason as others: to be a part of a close community that share similar values to their own.

The report also noted that “the highest rates of parenting by both same-sex couples and LGBT individuals are in the most rural regions of the country.”

Discrimination in small communities

Despite this, LGBT+ people do face some discrimination while living in rural places as prejudice can spread rapidly through tight-knit communities. This can lead to difficulties joining a church, getting work or even finding a doctor who will accommodate them.

While over half of LGBT+ people in urban areas have access to health centres designed specifically for their needs, only about 11 percent of LGBT+ adults over 45 have similar access in rural areas, which means trouble finding help can easily arise as a result of acute prejudice.

This can also go the other away according to Casey, who said: “When one person stands up and takes a stance for an LGBTQ person … and really embraces them, that sets the tone for how they should be treated.”

In the US, Vermont has the highest proportion of LGBT+ adults in rural areas at around 5.2 percent and was the first place to allow same-sex couples to have civil unions in 2000. It is also considered one of America’s most LGBT-friendly states.

Population of transgender people in the US

Meanwhile, there have been various studies regarding the population of transgender people in the US.

Studies have suggested that trans people make up 0.6 percent of the population, with states North Dakota and Iowa having the lowest percentage, while California and  Massachusetts have the highest.