Google searches by users for phrases questioning their own sexuality and gender identity — including “Am I gay” and “Am I lesbian” — have increased by 1,300% since 2004, according to a new analysis.
The findings were published last week by the Cultural Currents Institute, a market research firm that studies public opinion trends, which collected Google Trends data from January 2004 to this month for questions related to sexual orientation and gender identity across all 50 states.
Utah emerged as the state with the highest search volume for the phrases “Am I gay,” “Am I lesbian” and “Am I trans” since last May, according to the report.
It pointed to Utah’s “traditionally conservative social values” as a potentially significant factor in the data.
“This might indicate a significant underlying questioning of identity among its internet users, possibly driven by the conflict between personal feelings and societal expectations,” the reports said. “These tensions between public life and web searches are common in Utah, where we recently shared data indicating that searches for ‘VPN’ surged after the website PornHub blocked the state.”
Oklahoma had the highest search volume for the phrase “How to come out” over the past year, followed by West Virginia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Mississippi and Louisiana were in the lowest LGBTQ equality category in the 2022 State Equality Index published by the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ group. Kentucky was in the second-lowest of the four categories measuring equality.
Historical search volume for the term “nonbinary” was limited but gaining search traction, according to the report. Vermont was the state with the highest search volume for the term since last May.