Survey Compares When Gen Xers, Millennials, & Baby Boomers Come Out in Life & at Work.

Do you remember coming out?  OF COURSE YOU DO. Do you remember coming out at work?  For some of us it was just yesterday, while others it seems we have to come out over and over again every time we change a job. 

The results of a new survey that asked LGBTQ+ individuals about their experiences coming out and being an openly LGBTQ+ person are now being shared. The survey looked at fears and experiences with coming out, the ages for key milestones, traveling as an LGBTQ+ person, being out in the workplace, and more.

Coming out: The experience and related fears

In our survey, we decided to start with the basics. We asked individuals to tell us when they reached certain milestones of their experience as an LGBTQ+ person, which included the moment when they realized their identity, when they started dating as an LGBTQ+ person, when they had their first sexual experience as an LGBTQ+ person, and when they came out.

Overall, the average age a person comes out is 20.6, though our results show a notable difference among age groups. For millennials, the average age for this milestone is 18.1, around 4-5 years earlier than the average age reported by Generation Xers and Baby Boomers (23.0 and 23.4, respectively). This indicated to us that younger generations are able to come out sooner, generally after high school, than older generations did. Still, our results show that LGBTQ+ individuals don’t feel comfortable sharing their identity until 2-3 years after they acknowledge their sexuality. –


Here are some of the findings:


  • Millennials are coming out 4-5 years sooner than previous generations. On average, Millennials are coming out after high school (18 years old) while older generations are coming out after college-aged years (23 years old).

  • 40% of respondents said they have had a negative experience while traveling as an open couple. 40% also said they decided not to travel somewhere due to its reputation as being anti-LGBTQ+.

  • 60% of respondents said a company’s reputation for being LGBTQ+ friendly is significant when deciding whether or not to work there.

  • 1 in 5 LGBTQ+ said they experience homophobia daily, primarily slurs or from religious beliefs.

How do these relate to you?  Here is how I would address the bullets.

  • I'm 44 and I came out at 24. 
  • Never have traveled as a couple
  • My main profession is higher education and I do look for a more liberal environment, although my first position was was at a Catholic institution in Maine, but there were no issues with me and my sexuality.
  • I have been fortunate and have not really experienced any homophobia.

For more info on the survey results, head over to as well as take a peek as these infographs below.




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