Journalist Glenn Greenwald faces backlash after falsely claiming ‘decrease’ in lesbians is due to trans men

US journalist Glenn Greenwald

Gay former Guardian US journalist Glenn Greenwald has sparked fierce backlash online after tweeting about a recent Gallup poll, parroting the bizarre claim that there has been a “decrease in the lesbian population” because of trans men.

Greenwald cited a “fascinating” new Gallup poll looking at LGBT+ populations in the US, and wrote on Twitter: “There’s been a huge explosion in the number of Americans identifying as LGBT. Close to one out of every five Gen Z so identifies (17 per cent). That’s more than a four-fold increase from Gen X (four percent).

“But almost all of the increase comes from those identifying as bi or trans, not gay or lesbian.”

He then added: “As famed lesbian Katie Herzog notes, there are now – among Millennials and Gen Z – more people identifying as trans than lesbian.

“She has previously argued that masculine girls are now encouraged to identify as trans, causing a decrease in the lesbian population.” 

He later reiterated the same point: “I referenced Katie Herzog’s article on how lesbian culture is disappearing because masculine girls who, 20 years ago, would have become lesbians now become trans.”

Greenwald’s bizarre and inaccurate take on the Gallup poll data, as well as referring to trans men as “masculine girls”, sparked immediate accusations of transphobia.

Activist Charlotte Clymer wrote on Twitter: “Glenn Greenwald claiming that trans men and non-binary people are actually cis lesbians who are ‘being pressured’ to identify as trans or non-binary is the most Glenn Greenwald thing ever.

“An egregiously inaccurate take betraying discomfort with progress that doesn’t centre him.

“Cis lesbians who present as masc are found EVERYWHERE in queer spaces. Everywhere.

“Greenwald lives inside his own head on trans issues and just comes up with this s**t to explain his own discomfort, and it’s truly, truly embarrassing to witness.”

“It’s clear that Glenn Greenwald really believes there are significant social incentives to being openly trans,” she added.

“Which is news to those of us watching as at least seven trans people have been murdered in 2021, already on pace to be the deadliest year on record for trans folks.”

Others pointed out that the numbers Greenwald had literally highlighted showed that the number of out lesbians was increasing, not decreasing.

One person wrote: “It takes a master journalist to take a 75 per cent population increase and spin that as a decrease.”

In another tweet in his thread on the Gallup survey, Greenwald wrote: “Of Americans now claiming ‘bi’ identity, the vast majority of them in long-term relationships are in opposite-sex relationships (33 per cent) rather than same-sex ones (3.7 per cent).

“So 10 times more people who identify as ‘bi’ live in hetero-appearing relationships than gay/lesbian ones.”

Greenwald was seemingly confused by the concept of bisexuality, and insisting on categorising bisexual relationships in “hetero-appearing” ones and “gay/ lesbian ones”, and some Twitter users stepped in to help him out again with the maths.

Author Katie Mack wrote: “Are you actually expressing SURPRISE that people with non-exclusive gender preferences are found in relationships with other queer people (<10 per cent of population) a tenth as often as with straight people (>90 percent of the population)?

“Have you thought about these numbers at all?”

Mack added: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, because they outnumber queer women ten to one and I’m unable to walk down the street without constantly tripping over them.”