More than one in three LGBTI adults in the UK said they have never come out, according to a study released today (13 May).
Dating app Tinder dropped the results of the study that range from how LGBTI feel about finding love online to their thoughts on diversity.
Overall, coming out has dramatically changed across Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X LGBTI people in the UK.
What does the study say?
‘Increased normalization of different sexual identities has made it easier for queer people to be open and honest about their dating lives,’ the study said.
From the pool of queer folk surveyed, researchers found that 40% of young people stated they ‘never formally came out, mainly due to normalization.’
One member of that ‘40%’ is Jordan White. The 21-year-old Londoner, currently studying music journalism, told Gay Star News he ‘never felt the need to come out.’
White looked to his interests as a silent way to come out to his classmates. ‘I was never into sport or going to football games like my brother.
‘My first ever gig was the Spice Girls with my sister and mum,’ he added. ‘I also used to be quite quiet and if people didn’t ask me questions [are you gay?], then I wouldn’t come out and say it.
‘They never asked.’
Less stigma than ever before
Furthermore, a third (30%) said the decrease in stigma has made it easier for them to date.
This intersects with how an overwhelming majority of LGBTI adults – 82% – believe there is less stigma today than there was five years ago.
Moreover, when asked to describe their identity, ‘happy’ was the number one emotion followed by ‘proud.’
Coming out is different between Gen Z and Millennials
Generational gaps were palpable. Gen Zers were more likely than millenials to come out early in their lives.
For those who formally come out, the most common age to do so was between 16 and 20.
But four in 10 Gen Zers came out aged between 11 and 15.
Diversity was a hot topic, too.
Of the 80% who say that online dating and dating apps have had a positive impact on the LGBTI community, just under half say it has improved diversity.
Over half (55%) said nationality and/or ethnicity are ‘not important’ when it comes to choosing a partner. Fifteen percent said it was.
Interestingly, one in three LGBTI app users believe they have a more ‘diverse pool of potential dating partners’ than non-queer people do.
‘At Tinder, we work every day to be fearless advocates for equality, especially in dating,’ said Jenny Campbell, CMO of Tinder.
With the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and World Pride approaching, we wanted to learn more about how attitudes and behaviors towards dating has changed over the last 5 years within the LGBTQ+ community.
‘Overwhelmingly, this survey highlights how this community feels that the stigmas associated with being authentically and unapologetically themselves have decreased dramatically – and this is especially true for those who are using dating apps like Tinder.
‘We strive to provide a place that helps everyone – no matter their gender or orientation – throughout their dating journey.’
What can change in five years?
From notes handed out in school to over MSN Messenger, coming out over the decades has changed dramatically for LGBTI people.
Being queer has, indeed, changed dramatically from 2014 to 2019. But many things remain the same.
Outside of TV screens, and the tides were ebbing and flowing.
Normalization hit new heights in the UK as English, Welsh, and Scottish lawmakers approved a marriage equality bill. But elsewhere, Nigeria and Uganda’s governments made it illegal in 2014.
In other words, LGBTI people in certain patches of the world were entering a time where queer people were, slowly but surely, becoming better represented. But progress was far off, of course.
Fast-forward today, and a key US presidential hopeful is openly gay, trans politicians in India are rising the ranks, and TaiwaneseLGBTI couples held a massive banquet to celebrate marriage equality becoming law.
Still, progress is far removed some many LGBTI people’s realities. From trans people finding their identities constantly scrutinized to parts of the world weaponizing the law to erase and kill LGBTI people.
Coming out is still a terrifying process to many, especially as mainstream society begins to better accept trans and non-binary gender identities.
The fight for equality goes on.