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As glib as it might sound, I think it's mostly just teenage rebellion.
When I was a kid, you could really outrage your dad by dyeing you hair green or listening to records with rude lyrics or going vegetarian. If you came home from university with a nose piercing or a tattoo, your mum might cry. If you really wanted to make your parents freak out, you could have a gay phase.
These days, most parents don't really give a shit about any of that stuff. If you're a student in 2018, your parents probably have tattoos and piercings of their own. When they say "music was better in my day", they might well be reminiscing about gurning their jaw off in Ibiza or climbing over the fence at Glastonbury. If they catch you with a bit of weed, there's a very real possibility that they'll ask you for a bit and start droning on about all the Thai stick and Lebanese black they used to smoke. I know a lot of women who would be delighted if their son turned out to be gay.
If you're a teenager with that innate teenage urge to rebel against your parents, what's left? Politics. Everyone gets riled up about politics. Social justice is perfect for this, especially if your parents are middle class liberals. By inventing a load of new minorities and new kinds of oppression, you get to be part of a special club of super good people who are fighting for the rights of oppressed minorities.
You get to be furious at your dad because he supports LGBT rights instead of LGBTQQIAAP+ rights. He's got no chance of keeping up with all the new pronouns because he's got better things to do than spend four hours a day on acrobat, so you'll always have something to throw in his face as proof that he's an old fogey. If you went the other way and joined the Young Conservatives, your parents would be ashamed of you; by going even further to the left of them, they have the niggling suspicion that maybe they should be ashamed of themselves.