Americans are now being more open about their sexual preferences, at least on Facebook. As the social networking giant announced in a blog post on Thursday that Americans are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) in record numbers. With the anti-bullying LGBT-supporting Spirit Day held on October 15, Facebook gave a detailed account of the numbers, locations and history of users coming out and broadcasting their ‘out’ status online.
According to the post, approximately 800,000 Americans have either updated their profile to express their preference for the same gender or to specify a custom gender over the past year. Now that signifies a huge jump in the past 12 months, bringing a total of 6 million Americans who have ‘come out’ on Facebook. This surge is even more substantial on a day-to-day level, as the number of users on Facebook ‘coming out’ every day is three times of what it used to be a year ago.
Of course, the figure above does not take into account the number of open LGBT people who have not expressed their gender attraction on Facebook. In addition, there are regional differences as well with states like New York and Nevada having twice the number of people coming out as LGBT compared to Alabama and Mississippi.
Facebook also added that support for LGBT groups has been a constant rise over the past year. As the Supreme Court’s action to uplift the ban on state gay marriage in June had a “strong effect on the number of people coming out on Facebook and support for LGBT groups.”
Moreover, following this ruling, more than 26 million people used Facebook’s tool that lets them add a rainbow filter on their profile pictures. While the popularity of LGBT supporting pages and organizations is also on a constant rise with more ‘Likes’ and ‘Follows’.
Facebook says that after the June 26 Supreme Court ruling, fan pages for LGBT rights groups ‘acquired over 150,000 new fans during the five days following the decision.’ It apparently marked the largest single increase in support for LGBT pages.
“We also see spikes on the Sunday following World AIDS Day (December 1st, 2014) and on the day of oral arguments at the Supreme Court in the Obergefell case (April 28th, 2015 – though this effect may have been amplified due to Diane Sawyer’s interview of Caitlyn Jenner on April 24),” Facebook further added in the post.