Google searches for ‘Am I Gay?’ up 1,300% since 2004


Am I Gay? Quiz
Even Heartstopper's Nick turned to Google. Image: Netflix

As a young queer person, turning to Google to ask ‘Am I Gay?’ on the family computer was a millennial rite of passage and new research suggests it’s still going strong.

According to a new study by the Cultural Currents Institute, Google searches for phrasing questioning sexuality and gender identity surged over 1300 per cent from 2004 to 2023.

The study focused on five key search terms: “am I gay,” “am I lesbian,” “am I trans,” “how to come out,” and “nonbinary.” The Cultural Currents Institute notes that this data is relative and represents each term’s share of all Google searches for the time period or region being studied, since overall Google usage is obviously higher today than it was in 2004.

The analysis suggested that American states that lean more conservative are the “most closeted,” with Utah leading the country in searches for “am I gay,” “am I lesbian” and “am I trans.” Iowa, Indiana, West Virginia and New Hampshire followed Utah in searches for “am I gay,” while Connecticut, Kentucky, Washington and Colorado followed it for searches for “am I lesbian.”

“The regional differences highlighted below are significant, offering a geographical landscape of self-questioning and discovery across America,” the analysis reads.

“Utah, a state with traditionally conservative social values, surprisingly tops three out of five search term categories. This might indicate a significant underlying questioning of identity among its internet users, possibly driven by the conflict between personal feelings and societal expectations.”

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Apart from queer youth having much better access to the internet than previous generations, this uptake in Google searches is also likely the result of more and more young people openly exploring their queerness and gender identities.

In fact, the latest survey from YouthSense asked 1367 Australian Gen Zs aged 15-24 about their sexual orientation in the final weeks of 2022, with one in three (32 per cent) identifying as LGBTQIA+.

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch: sarah@qnews.com.au

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