Report

We Are LA! What LGBTQ People Contribute to Los Angeles

May 2024

This study presents findings from an open-ended question on the Lived Experiences in Los Angeles County (LELAC) Survey that asked LGBTQ people their perspectives on what LGBTQ people contribute to Los Angeles.

Highlights
LGBTQ people provide things that give LA County its unique identity and make it an attractive place to live and visit.
About one-third of respondents decribed how LGBTQ people and communities added to LA County’s rich diversity.
About one-third explained how LGBTQ people's creativity contributes to the arts, culture, and entertainment.
Report

More than 650,000 LGBTQ adults live in Los Angeles County. This report presents findings from an open-ended question on a survey conducted in 2023 and 2024 that asked LGBTQ people their perspectives on what LGBTQ people contribute to Los Angeles.

LGBTQ people feel that they make significant contributions to the Los Angeles County community, often grounded in the ways in which LGBTQ people differ from non-LGBTQ people, including differences based on lived experiences such as being closeted, bullied, and discriminated against.

For many, the contributions that LGBTQ people make are an integral part of the County’s history, identity, culture, and economy. In the words of one respondent, “Los Angeles would not be who and what it is without the LGBTQIA+” community. In the words of another, “Without LGBTQ people, LA would just be traffic.”

The types of contributions provided by LGBTQ people fall into five main areas:

  • Positive values and characteristics. 42% of respondents identified specific positive values and characteristics that LGBTQ people share not only with the LGBTQ community but also more broadly. Examples include acceptance and support of others, empathy, love, vibrancy, joy, friendliness, resilience, and inspiring everyone to be their authentic selves.
  • Enriching diversity. About one-third (31%) of respondents wrote about how LGBTQ people and communities added to the County’s rich diversity, providing role models for LGBTQ people who were not yet out and helping to educate non-LGBTQ people about the community.
  • Culture, arts, and creativity. About one-third (31%) of respondents specifically wrote about how LGBTQ people’s creativity contributes to the arts, culture, and entertainment in Los Angeles. In the words of one respondent, “We are Hollywood.”
  • Community leadership and service. About one-fifth (22%) of respondents discussed how LGBTQ people not only give back to the LGBTQ community but support other marginalized communities, volunteer, and participate in the political process more generally.
  • Broader economic contributions. About one in ten (11%) respondents emphasized the economic contributions of the LGBTQ community to Los Angeles County by inspiring tourism, attracting new residents, and by LGBTQ Angelenos who are hard workers, taxpayers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs.

Despite the challenges they face, LGBTQ Angelenos are proud of their many contributions to Los Angeles County—contributions that make the County unique, a better place for everyone, and a model of equality, diversity, and pride for other parts of the United States.

Download the full report

We Are LA! What LGBTQ People Contribute to Los Angeles