Certain jobs have become synonymous with the LGBTQ+ community: baristas, flight attendants, musical theater performers, to name a few. But are those stereotypes based in reality? New data says yes.
Analysis of the 2021 census in England and Wales has revealed which jobs have the highest proportion of lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees. A total of 321 specific occupations are covered in the analysis, ranked from gayest to straightest, based on self-identification in the census.
Topping the list with gay people making up 13% of their workforce are flight attendants. That means one in every seven flight attendants is part of the queer community, and it’s no accident: the International Association of Flight Attendants has been working consciously to be a safe space for queer people for decades.
“Many people who identify as LGBTQ+ today work as flight attendants to be surrounded and supported by peers,” said a spokesperson for the Association. “Decades before the law caught up, we worked together to negotiate job protections for LGBTQ+ workers and secured domestic partner benefits in contracts. Our solidarity has allowed thousands of flight attendants to live and work as their authentic selves.”
The second gayest group is actors, entertainers, and presenters with 12.3% being LGBT+, while theme park attendants are in third with 11.0%.
Other careers in the top 10 include coffee shop workers, artists, bar staff, producers and directors, caterers, researchers, and writers. Clearly, gay people have an affinity for the spaces where queerness is most accepted, including the arts and nightlife industries.
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Jumping to the bottom of the list, the straightest profession is roofing, with only 0.5% of workers self-identifying as LGB+. That’s followed by air-conditioning and refrigeration technicians, then scaffolders, stagers, and riggers, with both groups having just 0.6% of their workforces being gay.
The rest of the top 10 straightest jobs are bricklayers, farmers, sheet metal workers, vehicle body builders and repairers, window cleaners, window fabricators, and plumbers. Unsurprisingly, these more stereotypically masculine positions seem not to be conducive to queer visibility.
The census data also revealed which jobs were the most common overall. Of the top 10 most common jobs, high school teachers and kitchen/catering assistants had the highest proportion of gay people with 5.0% each.
The full data is visible here.
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