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(LifeSiteNews) — As the LGBT+ acronym continues to accumulate more identities each year — that’s not hyperbole — so does the popularity of identifying as pretty much anything other than heterosexual. In fact, for decades the percentage of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual was stable at under 3% — usually significantly lower. That has changed over the past 10 years as a society. A recent poll published by Brown University’s student newspaper, The Brown Daily Herald, for example, revealed that the number of students identifying somewhere on the LGBTetc spectrum has doubled since 2010.

In 2010, 14% of the student body identified as a member of the LGBT community — an astronomically high percentage relative to the rest of the population. According to The Brown Daily Herald’s poll published in its “Pride Month” special issue, a full 38% of students now identify as gay, queer, asexual, bisexual, pansexual, questioning, or “other.” Nobody has yet explained how this “community” can somehow contain both homosexuals and asexuals, or why the “questioning” or “other” students have also been drafted, but here we are. I’m sure they’ll all have a flag of their own soon — the current one can possibly fit more amendments.

The newspaper doesn’t cite the size of the student pool included in the poll, but last fall the Rhode Island Ivy League school had 7,222 undergrad students and 3,515 in master’s and medical programs. As the New York Post dryly reported, “The number of heterosexual students went down by 25.2% and homosexual students went up by 26% from fall 2010 to spring 2023 … About 7.2% of American adults identified as being non-heterosexual, according to a 2022 Gallup poll, up from 3.5% in 2012.”

Particularly interesting, however, is this bit:

Since The Herald first conducted a survey of sexual orientation on campus in 2010, Brown students identifying as lesbian and gay dropped by more than half from 46% to 22%. About 19% of that group were college-age members of Generation Z. The number of students identifying with other groups, however, soared: Bisexual students increased by 232%, and other LGBTQ+ groups rose by a collective 793%, The Herald found. Of the LGBTQ+ respondents, the most common orientation was bisexual at 53.7%.

Why is it that those identifying as gay and lesbian actually dropped while “other groups” skyrocketed? As gay activist Andrew Sullivan has noted, it is because identifying on the LGBT spectrum has become so popular as a sign of status that many straight kids have taken advantage of the multiplying number of identities available to them and decided to put themselves on the spectrum as well. In one essay, Sullivan noted that the overwhelming majority of those identifying as “bisexual” or “other” were, in fact, only in relationships with the opposite sex. They’d adopted the label, not the lifestyle.

In short, more people are identifying with vague LGBT categories because it is popular to do so. Indeed, Dr. Eric Kaufmann of the University of London noted that although LGBT activists favor the theory that a culture of openness and acceptance has simply allowed people to come out of the closet, the data doesn’t match this convenient theory. The Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology, Kaufmann observed, has tracked data revealing the fact that identifying as LGBT has risen sharply while same-sex activity has not.

“If this was about people feeling able to come out, then we should have seen these two trends rise together,” Kaufmann noted. “What we find instead is that identity is rising much faster than behavior, indicating that people with occasional rather than sustained feelings of attraction to the opposite sex are increasingly identifying as LGBT.” Or even more likely, vague terms like “queer” are allowing straight kids who want the status and privilege that now comes with identifying somewhere on the LGBT spectrum without actually engaging in any same-sex behavior.

Some have argued that these skyrocketing stats indicate a social contagion. I think that what they indicate is the staggering victory of the LGBT movement in not only mainstreaming their ideology but achieving cultural dominance in key institutions that is so sought after it is changing the way people identify themselves.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.