We all saw our Facebook page explode with rainbows in June. But many of have been seeing more and more rainbows and LGBT posts appear on friends' and family members' pages throughout the year. According to Facebook statistics, over the past 12 months 800,000 Americans alone decided to come out all over Facebook.
More and more people feel comfortable enough to come out to their friends on Facebook, according to a new report published by the social media company in celebration of this week’s National Coming Out Day. And as the number of people coming out on Facebook FB 1.63% has increased, so too has support for LGBT-advocacy groups.
Since last October, about 800,000 Americans updated their Facebook profiles to indicate a same-gender attraction or customize their stated gender. “The number of people on Facebook coming out per day is on track to be three times what it was a year ago,” said a blog post announcing the findings. In total, more than 6 million Americans have come out on Facebook, measured through a profile change–more than three-quarters doing so since 2012. That number leaves out Facebook users who come out by writing a status to their friends or posting a photo with a caption.
And while Americans who feel comfortable displaying their sexual orientation on Facebook are growing in number, so are their allies who support LBGT rights. About 5.7 million Americans are “fans” of the top 300 LGBT pages, like GLAAD and the Human Rights Campaign, according to the report. More than 26 million people changed their profile pictures to a rainbow filter in the wake of the June 26 Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
June 26 was a landmark date for LGBT expression on Facebook more broadly. In the aftermath of the court decision, Facebook saw a large spike in users changing their attraction status or indicating a custom gender. “On a typical day, one out of every ten people who change their ‘interested in’ status on Facebook do so to reflect a same-gender interest,” the blog post said. “On the day of the Supreme Court ruling, this ratio was double, one out of every five people.” – www.fortune.com
I wonder what the stats are for world-wide coming out on Facebook?
Now of course we do not know from these reports that outing ones self on Facebook was the very first step 800,000 Americans chose in their coming out process. It may have been the final step. "I told everyone else … so let's tell the Facebook world!" But it is nice to see more people join the family and at an ever increasing rate. And as we know, there's more than one coming out; to friends, family, at work, and now on Facebook.
On a personal note … One of my older nephews asked to be my Facebook friend. I'm not out to all my family members, but then again, my family never made sex, sexuality, or relationships dinner conversation. I added him as a friend and waited to see if he brought anything up. He's a great kid and very understanding so I did not expect any issues and there were none.
Did you choose to come out to others via Facebook?
Did you lose any friends / relatives because of it?
Do you think using Facebook as the vessel to come out is safe? sane? the best?