The measurement of sexual and gender identity in the United States has been evolving to generate more precise demographic estimates of the population and a better understanding of health and well-being. Younger cohorts of sexual- and gender-diverse adults are endorsing identities outside of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) labels. Current population-level surveys often include a category such as “something else” without providing further details, and doing so inadequately captures these diverse identities. In this research note, our analysis of the most recent federal data source to incorporate sexual and gender identity measures—the Household Pulse Survey—reveals that younger birth cohorts are more likely to select “something else” for their sexual identity and “none of these” for their gender identity. The observed sexual and gender identity response patterns across birth cohorts underscore the importance of developing and applying new strategies to directly measure sexual- and gender-diverse adults who identify with identities outside of those explicitly captured on surveys. The integration of sexual and gender identity measures in population-level surveys carries broader implications for civil rights and for addressing health inequities and therefore must be responsive to cohort differences in identification.

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