Following a historic year for LGBT equality, new data released from Facebook today found that a record number of Americans have come out publicly using the social media platform.
“We report three major trends. First, consistent with popular perceptions, the last year has witnessed steady growth in the number and rate of people coming out on Facebook,” Facebook reported. “Second, support for LGBT groups has likewise increased. Finally, the Supreme Court Obergefell ruling had a strong effect on the number of people coming out on Facebook and support for LGBT groups.”
Data showed that in the past year, approximately 800,000 Americans updated their Facebook profile to express a same-gender attraction or custom gender. Based on this criteria, a total of six million Americans have come out on Facebook. Additionally, coming out moments have peaked at major moments for the LGBT community, including the Supreme Court ‘s historic decision in support of marriage equality in June, World AIDS Day and Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out interview.
“Facebook's research is proving just what a difference visibility makes to LGBT people,” Jay Brown, Director of Research and Public Education, HRC Foundation, said. “In a year that's seen unprecedented coverage of LGBT people -- from major coming out moments to Supreme Court victories to tragedies shaking the community -- we see people becoming visible in their own lives.”
In 2013, HRC’s viral red equality logo captured the attention of millions around the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decisions. From actors to musicians and athletes to TV personalities, millions of people shared the modified HRC logo.
According to an official Facebook analysis, 120 percent more people changed their profile picture on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 – the first day of oral arguments -- when compared to the previous Tuesday.