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LGBT-Who?: A Look at a Growing Audience You Could Be Missing

Updated: May 4, 2022

It’s time to talk about the LGBTQ+ audience. It’s not Pride Month yet, but it’s never a bad time to take a look at the LGBTQ+ community.

A recent survey by Gallup found that nearly 8% of the U.S. population identifies somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum — double the amount from the previous survey. And when looking at Gen Z specifically, they found 1 in 5 identified as not straight. With the rise in acceptance, more and more individuals are becoming comfortable with sharing their identities that differ from those of heterosexuals. So, why does this matter?

As marketers and advertisers, this is an audience that in the past has often missed, ignored, and made to feel invisible. Yet, they’re such a significant part of the population that we should be paying better attention to them.

“But wait! What about marketing during Pride?”

Yes, during June, aka Pride Month, we see the sudden change to rainbows and support. This is a great start, but it shouldn’t be the only time of the year they’re made to feel seen and included. Considering this community alone has nearly $1 trillion in buying power (according to LGBTQ marketers Commando), we should be marketing to them way more than just one month a year.

But just who is the LGBTQ community? Many who are unfamiliar or outside of the community tend to just see two groups: gay and lesbian. But it’s actually a wonderfully diverse group filled with a myriad of different identities. Here’s some you may not quite know:

Bisexual/Pansexual: Two different identities that don’t prefer one gender over another. They’re open to relationships with someone, regardless of gender.

Nonbinary: Someone on the Trans spectrum who does not necessarily conform to a single gender or does not wish to transition. They could be assigned female at birth (commonly referred to as AFAB) but present as masculine. Or someone assigned male at birth (AMAB) who presents feminine. They could even prefer a more neutral or androgynous aesthetic and use they/them pronouns. Properly addressing your full audience means recognizing that they/them are the preferred, neutral pronouns versus defaulting to he/him.

Asexual: The asexual spectrum is quite wide, meaning not everyone who identifies as Ace or Asexual has the same preferences. Some may be sex-repulsed and prefer a completely nonphysical relationship while others may be fine with a sexual relationship but not desire it as often or only with someone they have a strong emotional connection with. They may also not prefer to be in a relationship at all.

And there are many more because both sexuality and gender are on a spectrum in which no one person fits in a box. We’re all different in our own rights and in an age where diversity and individuality are meant to be celebrated, we tend to forget just how vast a concept diversity is. That is why entire groups can be left out or forgotten. As the LGBTQ+ community continues to grow, so should our understanding of who its members are and how we can reach them.

Here at ABI, we focus on being intentionally diverse. Not to check boxes, but to have the different viewpoints and perspectives needed to make sure every audience is considered. ABI is also working with Dallas County to promote education about HIV and end all new diagnoses by 2030, and we work hard to reach out to all members of our community affected by HIV, including the LGBTQ+ community. We make it our goal to understand their view and how to properly communicate with them.

We also take advantage of Focus Groups, ensuring that they don’t miss out on anyone who differs in categories ranging from race to sexuality. We welcome other agencies and companies to look into doing the same. You can’t properly speak to your audience if you don’t know who they are.

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