One month in and the ‘+’ in LGBTIQ+

The Scrolling Beyond Binaries survey has been out for four weeks now, and we’ve had a terrific response! Today we passed the 700 responses mark, largely from ‘organic’ shares (people sharing the survey amongst their own networks). We only just started with paid advertisements last week to diversify the sample, and we will continue with those efforts over the next few weeks. Thanks to everyone who has completed the survey and shared it with their own networks!

One issue that has come up is around what is actually included in the ‘+’ in LGBTIQ+. For instance, does it include asexual or pan folk? How about people who are not sure? The short answer is: yes! We want to include everyone. Here’s the longer answer:

We have used the ACON measures on gender and sexuality to line up with other survey data here, so we have points of comparison, but of course none of these measures are perfect. Putting the broad and terrific diversity of LGBTIQ+ (including questioning, pan, and asexual) folks into a series of check-boxes does not always work! That’s why we added in open text fields where people can state their own identities (or combinations of identities) in their own terms, and we go through and manually code those later.

When it comes to sexuality, almost 20% of survey respondents have taken up this option, which is great! It gives us lots of info on the complex, non-binary, and still-emerging ways people identify.

Of that 20% who have chosen how to identify themselves in their own terms (haven’t used the check-boxes), here is what we have already found (and the survey continues on!):

  • half of those who used the ‘other’ field included being pansexual (about 10% of the wider sample);
  • around one quarter (or about 4% of the wider sample) have included being asexual in their identities, often in combination with other terms;
  • the remaining folks who used the ‘other’ field talked about a whole range of identities related to sexuality, like being demi-, poly-, or rejecting labels altogether. My favourite response here thus far is: *vague hand gestures*

At the end of the day, statistics can be powerful and help us to identify social patterns, but they can also be problematic in that they rely on grouping people together into common categories. Our job is to make sense of this, and our aim is to shine a light on the wonderfully diverse and binary-busting data we’ve already got here. Thanks again for all the responses, shares, and feedback!

Cheers,
Brady

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