Identifying as a member of the LGBTQ community is both exciting and rewarding – everyone has their own story to tell when they recount the day they came out in society. Match has recently released a new study on the LGBTQ single population, uncovering some surprising insights and challenges on dating and the quest to find love.
“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.”
The study conducted by Match surveys a sample of over 1000 singles between the ages of 18 to 70+ across the United States. Key take aways in the coming out department were typically concerning the age of self-described “realization”. For gay and lesbian singles, coming to terms with their sexuality happens at a reasonably young age – 25% realized that they were gay at less than 10 years old, 50% at 15 years old, and 75% by 20 years old. For transgender men and women, 50% realized that their gender didn’t match their bodies before their 13th birthday, and 75% by the age of 16.
25% of LGBTQ singles came out the same year they “realized” their sexual orientation or gender identity. Of those who realized before the age of 18, it took an average of seven years before they came out of the closet. The difference in perceived acceptance is large here – with those who realized during adulthood only taking an average of 2.9 years to come out. Transgender women will wait 2 years longer before telling anyone, while transgender men typically come out as soon as possible.
According to Match data, 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.
To learn more about the surprising insights and challenges in the quest to find love as a single member of the LGBTQ community head to Match.com’s Singles In America.