"Today's society is full of rich gender and sexual diversity, however relatively little is known about the dating experiences of LGBTQ people..."
Match, the world's largest relationship company, today debuted LGBTQ in America, the largest nationally-representative study of American singles who identify as LGBTQ. Conducted by Research Now in association with evolutionary biologist and gender studies professor, Dr. Justin R. Garcia of the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, the data reveals new social commentary into the evolving attitudes, behaviors and challenges of the LGBTQ single population.
"Today's society is full of rich gender and sexual diversity, however relatively little is known about the dating experiences of LGBTQ people," says Match Scientific Advisor Dr. Justin Garcia. "Nearly half of the LGBTQ population in America identifies as single, and a vast majority of these singles, some 80 percent, are seeking a committed relationship. By expanding our annual Singles in America study to include more people of diverse identities, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans, we are beginning to address these knowledge gaps to better understand singles today."
The study surveys a representative sample of over 1,000 LGBTQ singles between the ages of 18 to 70+ across the United States, who are not currently in a committed relationship. Key takeaways include:
Everyone has a personal story of realizing their sexual orientation and coming to terms with who they are
Age of Self-Described Realization:
Time in the closet:
25% of LGBTQ singles came out the same year they say they "realized" their sexual orientation or gender identity. Of those who realized before adulthood (defined as age 18), they went an average of 7 years before telling someone they identified as LGBTQ. Additionally, of those who realized during adulthood, it took an average of 2.9 years to come out.
Who is most comfortable coming out?
Those assigned male at birth waited the longest before telling someone, with an average of 1.6 years longer compared to biologically born females. Transgender women took an extra 2.1 years before telling someone than a gay or bisexual man, and transgender men waited the shortest amount of time without telling someone.
Born this way:
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual singles overwhelmingly believe that sexual orientation is biologically based, with two thirds (64%) believing it is completely determined by biology and 28% believing it is a combination of biology and experience. Only 7.5% of LGB singles believe sexual orientation is determined by experience alone.
MARRIAGE & THE BABY CARRIAGE
In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. How important is marriage equality to same-sex couples and does this affect their desire to expand their family?
Love & Marriage:
63% of gay and lesbian singles have always wanted to get married, while 25% say they never wanted to marry.
Supreme Court Decision Effects:
17% of LGBTQ singles may be changing their mind about marriage based on the U.S. Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, while 61% claim the decision had no effect on their attitude toward marriage.
74% of LGBTQ singles say their family will support their marriage (26% will not).
Building a Family:
Having children is important to 48% of younger LGBTQ singles, with lesbian women being the most likely to want kids (52%), and gay men being the least likely to want kids (36%).
DATING DO's AND DON'TS
The dating habits of America's LGBTQ communities
56% of LGBTQ singles have dated someone they met online, with transgender singles dating the most online (65%). Additionally, 46% of singles met their date last year though a dating app.
LGBTQ singles say whoever initiated the date should pay (62%) or they play it safe and always split the bill (44%).
47% of LGBTQ singles are open to dating someone who is transgender, while 44% say they would not consider dating them. Additionally, 61% of transgender singles tell their prospect about their trans identity before the first date, 15% do so on the first date, and 12% by the third date.
Nice to meet you:
When it comes to first date physical expectations, 57% of LGBTQ singles expect a kiss, while 25% expect a full make out. Only 9% expect sexual intercourse (16% gay men and 2% of lesbian women). However, 30% expect nothing physical at all.
50% of LGBTQ singles have sent a sexually explicit photo of themselves, with bisexual women and gay men sending the most (64% and 56%, respectively). Lesbian women have sent the least (22%).
What's Your Number?
The typical gay man has had 30 lifetime sexual partners and lesbian women have had 12 sexual partners.
Regionally, gay men in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Riverside have the highest average number of sexual partners, while gay men in Boston have had the least.
4% of gay men report using PrEP (HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis), 8% are considering it, and 1% have used it in the past. Those gay men who identify as being "out" are more likely to use PrEP.
GROUPS & LABELS
While some avoid labels based on factors like body type and relative masculinity and femininity, LGBTQ communities have many sub-cultures with specific identity categories and social conventions
Of all groups surveyed, bisexual women are most likely to believe that the LGBTQ community is open and supportive (62% more likely to believe this than the rest), while bisexual men are the least likely to feel like the community is open and supportive.
57% of gay men do not see themselves as belonging to a category or group, while 19% of gay men identify as Bears, 16% as Daddies, and 8% as Jocks.
For more detailed study findings on LGBTQ singles, visit www.SinglesinAmerica.com and follow the social conversation at #SinglesinAmerica
The original rainbow flag, called the Freedom Flag, was devised by Gilbert Baker in 1978. The design has undergone several revisions since its debut with 8 colored stripes, and today the most common variant consists of 6 stripes: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Picture of Gilbert Baker's original Freedom Flag showing the meaning of the 8 colors.