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‘Demisexual,’ ‘Biromantic’: LGBTQ Youth Adopting Wide Array of Labels

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LGBTQ youth used more than 100 different terms to describe their sexual orientation in a survey conducted by The Trevor Project.

By Thomas Ilalaole | 3 October 2019

NBC NEWS — “Bisexual polyamorous,” “greyromantic demisexual,” “biromantic homosexual” — these are just some of the increasingly nuanced labels LGBTQ youth are using to describe their sexual orientation, according to a new report by The Trevor Project, a crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth.

The report is based on data from the project’s 2019 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which surveyed tens of thousands of LGBTQ youth aged 13 to 24 across the U.S. from February to September 2018. Using responses from nearly 25,000 of the those surveyed, the researchers found that 1 in 5 LGBTQ youth used a term other than lesbian, gay or bisexual to describe their sexual orientation. In fact, respondents provided more than 100 different terms to describe their sexuality.

“A lot of other surveys that exist, particularly some that are done on the federal level, only capture gay, lesbian and bisexual,” Amy E. Green, director of research for The Trevor Project, told NBC News. “If we had done that, we would’ve essentially mislabeled or not allowed for the expansion of identity for 20 percent of our sample.”

Myeshia Price-Feeney, a research scientist at the project, said that the LGBTQ youth surveyed were “looking for ways to identify both their sexual and romantic attraction.” She described a romantic attraction as an emotional attraction toward another person, where there’s a desire, for example, to spend time together and build a relationship. A sexual attraction, on the other hand, is based on sexual desires. Price-Feeney said these two things can be related, but they can also be distinct. […]

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