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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What does the data say about how many LGBTQ+ people are out of the closet?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (37505points) June 8th, 2022

Happy Pride Month!

I am wondering if the collective can help me locate data about how many people in the LGBTQ+ population are out of the closet. I’m curious, because I see many faceless profiles when I go on gay dating apps. Faceless profiles usually belong to persons who identify as down-low or in the closet.

I am further curious if a person’s location correlates to their out or in the closet status. Are some areas more open or closed?

Mahalo (That’s Hawaiian for thanks.)

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26 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

A quick Google search got me a good study from Yale. Link

It found that 83% of the world’s population of LGB individuals hid their orientation.

I’m hoping we can find more granular data.

Zaku's avatar

I imagine the openness inversely correlates to the level of violence and legal threats they face.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^The Yale study supports your imagination. In Africa and the Middle East where many countries have laws criminalizing same-sex behavior, the percentages of people hiding their sexual orientation was very high.

Brian1946's avatar

According to the Yale study: “In a second analysis, the researchers found that eliminating structural stigma at the country level would dramatically reduce the size of the global closet—from 83% globally to about 16%.”

I would say that 16% is generally true for blue states, such as HI and CA, but egregiously higher for red states.
I’m sure the concealment percentage is also higher in the red cesspools that exist in some blue states, including CA.

Then there’s good ol’ San Francisco, where I bet it’s about 0.001–1%.

JLeslie's avatar

Great Question! I recently was looking at data for what percentage of the US population is LGBT and I realize that it’s very possibly understated, because not everyone is out as gay, especially certain groups I think are more hesitant. Like Black men supposedly are more likely to be in hiding, I’m not sure that’s still true.

In the world, as mentioned above, some countries you have to have a death wish to admit you’re gay.

I’ll be following the Q.

kritiper's avatar

Feb. 2022 Gallop poll finds 7.1% of Americans identify as LGBTQ.

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jca2's avatar

I’m thinking of my friend’s husband, who is “out” in the house but he’s closeted to some, so I wonder how he would be classified?

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@jca2 He would have to clarify himself. From an outsider, he appears bisexual and partially out.

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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@jca2 Thank you. I’m hoping to find data about how many of those people in the links you kindly found are out of the closet.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

^Thanks. I linked to that study in the very first answer on this thread. It’s a good study. It would be interesting to find more studies like it.

jca2's avatar

Sorry, @Hawaii_Jake. I don’t think I clicked on your link originally.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

No worries.

I’m curious about this topic, because there is a direct link between being out and a plethora of other mental and physical health outcomes. It’s been shown that LGBTQ persons who live in areas with more homophobia die 11 years sooner than those who live in more accepting areas. People who live out have much better health outcomes than those in the closet.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@all, I participate in a very large study for LGBTQ people that measures health variables and many other life issues. They ask many detailed questions about who I’m out to and how comfortable I feel about those out relationships. They ask about being out to family and to Healthcare providers and at work and to friends and to strangers even. This kind of data is being collected. It doesn’t seem to be published, though. That’s the kind of data this question is looking for.

flutherother's avatar

This study relates to the UK but is quite detailed. It makes the point that at the time of the study in 2017 no robust and representative data of the LGBT population in the UK existed. Since then the 2021 census asked a voluntary question on sexual orientation which will result in publication of a number of reports in 2023.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@flutherother Thank you. That study has a specific section about how open the respondents were about their sexuality in different situations. That is exactly the kind of data I’m curious about.

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