According to a Gallup poll released Tuesday, a staggering 100% of adult and adolescent members of Gen Z identify as the so-called “gay cousin”.
“With every single generation so long as we’ve kept track, the number of LGBTQ+ identified individuals increases, clearly indicating that greater social acceptance results in more people coming out,” says the poll author, Hadley Wortham. “But prior to this, we’ve never seen 100% of respondents identify not only under the queer umbrella, but specifically as the gay cousin.”
While the gay cousin used to be a moniker held by one queer youth in a predominantly cisheterosexual extended family, cousin stratums populated by Zoomers are now overflowing with the gay cousins.
“Growing up, I was always the gay cousin because I’m gay,” says 34-year-old Natalie Braeuer. “But now that my baby cousin who was born in 2000 is pansexual adult with a mullet and some stick and pokes, I have to admit: they’re the gay cousin.”
“I’m taking this in stride by focusing more of my energy on being the lesbian aunt,” Natalie adds. “The gay cousin is a young person’s game anyway, I guess. They might not appreciate that I fought for acceptance from our extended family so that they never even had to come out, but honestly, that’s progress.”
While some Zoomers have taken the mantle of gay cousin upon themselves, others have had it hoisted upon them by circumstance.
“I’m not gay,” says 24-year-old Noah Silverberg. “But I’m the youngest in my family, and my millennial cousin just had an extremely straight wedding that I wore a skirt to, so now everyone thinks I’m the gay cousin.”
“I don’t have a problem with it,” Noah adds. “Especially because now my aunts let me get in on all the good gossip.”
Though the proliferation of gay cousins could lead to the designation growing redundant and obsolete, today’s young people are still fighting to keep the brand alive.
“Sure, all of my cousins are queer,” says 17-year-old Jazmine Pell. “But I still consider myself the gay cousin. It’s just another thing for cousins to bond over: being gay and smoking weed before dinner.”