Americans are growing more open about their sexual orientation, and that could help defeat prejudice. In honor of Gay Pride Week, Facebook ran the numbers and found 70 percent of U.S. users are friends with someone who lists themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. That fact could remind people they’re hurting someone they know when they’re intolerant or use homophobic slurs.
In a past age, sexual orientation was more frequently kept private. That meant people might have had gay friends but didn’t know it.
Without the ability to put a human face on this demographic of people, it may have been easier to view being queer as something abstract, foreign and less deserving of compassion.
But the world is changing. Facebook allows people to list their sexual preference, and even lets you search for which of your friends are gay or lesbian. Just type “Friends who are gay” into Graph Search and it will bring up “My friends who are men interested in men” and “My friends who are women interested in women”. That makes it harder to hide from the fact that we’re all human
Seventy percent is likely a conservative estimate of Americans with gay friends, as not everyone lists their orientation on Facebook. The actual percentage could be far closer to 100 percent. Don’t be afraid to spread the word. If more people knew that, they might think twice about their own prejudice.
Hate is the minority.