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You are here: Home > Forum > A Place of Safety > General Talk > Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+
Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78460] Thu, 26 January 2023 17:52 Go to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1557



The results of the sexuality question in the last England & Wales Census have been released. "The proportion of people who identified as LGB+ was highest (6.9%) among people aged 16 to 25 and then decreased with each successive age group to 0.4% in people aged 75 and over", as The Guardian puts it in an excellent article. I find this very encouraging, though I think we've probably still got a way to go before everyone feels free to answer in the way they do actually feel, even though the census is private.

Over the years, I've seen wildly different guessimates of the LGB+ percentage of the population - ranging from 0.5% to over 15%. Both extremes, predictably, from people or organisations with strong ideological positions! I've tended to work on a personal guess of around 7.5%, for no very explicit reason.

The full census report and access to datasets is here.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78461 is a reply to message #78460] Thu, 26 January 2023 20:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13694



I'm proud to have responded as a gay man. I'm part of the 0.84%.




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78462 is a reply to message #78461] Fri, 27 January 2023 12:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1557



"timmy wrote on Thu, 26 January 2023 20:16"
I'm proud to have responded as a gay man. I'm part of the 0.84%.




Me too, though I was surprised to learn it's as little as that! Among the guys our age that I know (excluding those I've met throughLGBT+ circles) it's rather higher - perhaps to be expected, as most of my acquaintances, like myself - are fairly socially liberal.



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78463 is a reply to message #78460] Fri, 27 January 2023 20:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

Getting started
Location: Western USA
Registered: October 2021
Messages: 14



Thanks for posting this - interesting.

Wish there were similar data for the US, but likely the UK and US aren't all that different. All I have seen for the US is a Gallup poll that had much less detail.

The headlines on the press take on the two surveys are similar: "Yay young folk", but there's another interperpretation which is that older gay men are kinda out of luck. I suppose "sucks to be gay and gray" isn't as attractive a headline.

While I'm more than happy for the younger generations (and even had a tiny part in helping create the better place), it doesn't feel great to be sidelined in more ways than one.

No wonder I've had all of one date in more years than I care to recall.
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78464 is a reply to message #78463] Fri, 27 January 2023 21:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
NW is currently offline  NW

On fire!
Location: Worcester, England
Registered: January 2005
Messages: 1557



"ThisRick wrote on Fri, 27 January 2023 20:51"

The headlines on the press take on the two surveys are similar: "Yay young folk", but there's another interperpretation which is that older gay men are kinda out of luck. I suppose "sucks to be gay and gray" isn't as attractive a headline.

While I'm more than happy for the younger generations (and even had a tiny part in helping create the better place), it doesn't feel great to be sidelined in more ways than one.



--
I think quite a lot of the "sidelining" may be because very many gay men my age (67) and older ended up in heterosexual marriages, and got used to living in the closet - to some extent, closeted even from themselves: it might be that it was an automatic reflex to tick "heterosexual" on any forms. I'd say that around half the men I've know in this position are out to their wives, and around half are not, though as far as I know they're all physically faithful. As men tend to die younger than women, they don't experience a burst of freedom when the partner dies. One exception was the father of a friend of mine, who came out to his children after his wife died when he was 80, though by that age he was not interested in dating. I'd kinda known he was gay since he was 40, as there was something wistful about the way he reacted to my own coming out.

I'd be really interested to hear other people's views on this.

As for dates ... they're not something I really have ever done. But it's now nearly nine years since I split from my last kind-of-partner (who was a great deal younger than me, and had no hesitation about being out about being bi, or about being HIV+, or anything much else!).



"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. ... Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night devoid of stars." Martin Luther King
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78465 is a reply to message #78464] Sat, 28 January 2023 21:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

Getting started
Location: Western USA
Registered: October 2021
Messages: 14




As one of the organizers of a group for men who came out later in life I've known dozens of men in that category. I'd say more than half of them were either married or like me, divorced from a straight marriage.

I don't know what to say about the closeted ones, hard to know how many there are since, well, they're hidden. Clearly they aren't available for dating so they don't figure in calculations of odds of finding a partner.

One sad thing I've seen is when an older man comes out when they die (either from natural causes or their own hand) their new found identity can be erased. In the handful of cases I have known like this none of the eulogies or obituaries mentioned their non-straight life, even when they had had same sex partners.

In my case, when by my mid-twenties I never found anyone available for an ongoing same sex relationship and looking at what I knew of the gay world in the 70s I opted for a conventional marriage which worked quite well for me, but always did feel something was missing. I'm happy for the divorce because even late in life it allowed me some chance to explore loving men though with age seems like any opportunity other than back room hookups is becoming more remote.
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78466 is a reply to message #78460] Fri, 03 February 2023 08:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
William King is currently offline  William King

Toe is in the water

Registered: October 2016
Messages: 97



I have always been gay and knew it from an early age, pre-teen. It meant I had to be careful, because in my school days, sixties going into early seventies, you didn't want that label. There were situations where being careful was difficult, like communal showers, changing rooms, and school trips, but I survived and managed to avoid ogling naked boys in the showers with the visible results that would produce.

I also managed to avoid losing my virginity to the opposite sex and was able to find a relatively open gay life. Relative, because I was not always open in every situation, I'm thinking about career and work.

I wouldn't criticise any gay old man for having fallen into a hetero marriage, but all the same it doesn't sit too well with me. There are times in life when you need to stand up and be counted, engineer your circumstances to avoid what you don't want, which is what I did, starting by getting a job and leaving home at eighteen.

I think everyone likes a happy ever after, maybe it was luck, determination, or circumstances, which gave me a forty year old (41 this May) partnership. One which was cemented first by a civil partnership, then a marriage, just as soon as they were legal. 

In the last ten years the world, at least a large part of it, has changed incredibly with regard to same sex relations. Gays have come out and are now everywhere as simply a not unusual part of society. You might even say today it's fashionable to be gay or bi!

Well the past is the past and the future, who knows? My own story or snippets, slightly modified, but essentially based on real events, can be read in my short stories (not really a plug, simply if you want to know more about one person's gay life in another epoch, and you can always write me with questions or comments to discuss).

In another thread the question about who responds to the writing challenges and how to encourage participation was posed. For myself, I responded to challenges which struck a chord and inspired, like Black and White Boys - A Writing Challenge, whose picture could have been my class at grammar school.

Life can be cruel and sad, not finding someone to share it with is a hard road, but we live with the hand we are dealt. Being gay and old is an interesting theme which has been invoked and which has many facets to explore, including finding gay friends, a partner, young old relationships, sickness and health, growing even older. I have been quiet for some time, but felt compelled to reply here because a response in some tiny way breaks the isolation. If you want to share then why not, it's great to learn other people's lives and experiences, we could start an old folks thread. The site has a role in helping young gay people, perhaps it could have another role doing something similar for the oldies, or would we have to rename it Oldies Romance!

Finishing on subject, whether there are census numbers or not, I think you can be fairly certain the majority of the population is bi, there is a significant gay minority and, Yes! A significant hetero minority (who have largely controlled things - up till now!).

[Updated on: Fri, 03 February 2023 08:37]

Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78467 is a reply to message #78466] Sun, 05 February 2023 18:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geron Kees is currently offline  Geron Kees

Likes it here
Location: USA
Registered: February 2016
Messages: 144



It's very nice to hear from you again, William! I have missed seeing you in the story listings.

Age is a subject that can be addressed easily in story form, and I have seen a number of very good tales about being older and gay.

It seems a shame to have such an articulate voice and not use it to share the things you care about. Teen romances are not the only romances, by any means.

It would be just as interesting to read about your ideas on lasting romance as it was to read your ideas about budding ones.

In either event, welcome back.

[Updated on: Sun, 05 February 2023 18:35]

Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78468 is a reply to message #78466] Mon, 06 February 2023 19:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

Getting started
Location: Western USA
Registered: October 2021
Messages: 14



Even on this site with a theme of stories about youth, there is at least one story that has mention of the issues of age and changing one's direction in life.

Joe Casey's Enough Rope has a tender scene in the last chapter that echoes the experiences I have had with a few men helping them realize it's okay to be who they are even as old men.

Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78536 is a reply to message #78468] Sun, 11 June 2023 20:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ray2x is currently offline  ray2x

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: April 2009
Messages: 428



William King, we could have been neighbors. Starting from the present, I'm a 67 year old man, married with one daughter. I was as a young 6th grade boy prone to be looking at the boys, and having a very actual gay relationship with a 6th grade boy, but the labels were not yet thought of to describe what my friend and I experienced. Best friends probably was the closest to describe our friendship, but we certainly were shooting off the rays of same sex status. Middle school was fairly good, seeing naked boys for the first time ever, but not too interested in either male/female bonding. My 6th grade friend moved suddenly without warning, and having neither his address or phone number, that was the end. Maybe I was heartbroken. I took up participating in sports and music which soothe my ache. I felt more straight during high school, trying to find the girl of my dreams. Most dreams were more of the male gender, but I didn't take that as a clue. I still had my 6th grade friend, Dale, on my mind as well as the few boys I saw as attractive. I became friends with one boy in particular. We were close friends, participated in the track and field team, and hung with him and a few other friends during lunch. We'd walk home together after track practice, and again not paying attention to the clues which were more than apparent to other.
Clueless seemed to be my middle name. Thinking back from my 67 years old platform, I say I had a robust gay thing going. I didn't pay attention to the clues or feelings for the boys I was friends with. That would be soon well taken into serious steps to acknowledge my fondness for boys. My future friend, boyfriend, lover and life long friend saw me being interviewed for a job in an historic inn. This person introduced himself with a handshake and welcomed me to the Eureka Inn. The bellboy, John, fast became a friend. The clues of him being gay were beginning to work. But I wasn't thinking he'd want me as a boyfriend. A cold January early morning changed everything. John took me to bed where I had my first ever sexual affair, male or female. He took my virginity, and although it was quite painful since he did not prepare me for the pain, he still had mated with me. We were boyfriend, although he still had a first boyfriend. That didn't bother me at all for some reason, just as long as he didn't hurt either of us. Our relatinship lasted over 3 years, and he did break up with his first boyfriend and then me. That turned out to be the best thing that could happen to me, as I could complete my college work and optain a bachelor's degree a couple of years later.
I soon found another boyfriend soon after I moved away from Northern California. We were together for about five years. The AIDS pandemic got us thinking we should either stay together or break up. We had begun to know we were not meant to be life partners, so we had one last sex time together, which was very nice and happily discontinued.
Life after having two lengthy gay relationships was not as gay as I planned. I found a female whom I married. We had a daughter after many attemtps. We finally had our daughter but were older at that time. Wife began to experience mental health issues. She needed lengthy care for the past 5 years. Daughter and I will be welcoming her back this September. Hope all goes well. In the meantime, I began to find out whether I was truly a gay man. I concluded I was, but I also discovered how diverse the gay community became. I soon became aware of its diversity: trans, non binary, queer and so on. I never felt like I was bi-, nor was I fond of the gay term. I always have been fond of the concept of Two-Spirit, which we all are in a biological sense, having genes coming from a male and a female, and sharing female cells within our bodies.
So I feel a bit Two Spirit with a helping of gay and some Fem; the mixture feels good. Thank you, Mr. King for your post.
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78537 is a reply to message #78536] Mon, 12 June 2023 11:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
William King is currently offline  William King

Toe is in the water

Registered: October 2016
Messages: 97



https://forum.iomfats.org/?t=getfile&id=5342&private=0
Synchronicity and Connections - a real life story.

The philosophy of e=mc2 is something I relate to, maybe there is some synchronicity going on, the least you can say is that all the world, and beyond, is connected. We have the same age (ray2x), that and California, triggered a beautiful memory.

In the summer of '67, when I was twelve years old, I went on holiday as part of an all boys group with the YHA. The week was spent canoeing down the River Wye, a picturesque part of the UK, the river runs through Wales and England. 

At twelve years old boys form bonds, friendships which are close and emotional. There is no judgement, no labels, but you more than like some other boys. You know you are close because it's the worse feeling when your time together is over. You will never see the guys you have been so close with again, but neither do you ever forget them.

Along with some other boys in our group that summer, was John Stevens. He was from California.

"Where in California?" I asked, as if I even knew anything about California other than it was a state in the USA on the Pacific coast.

"You won't have heard of it," he replied.

"Yeah, alright. Maybe not, but where?" Maybe not, definitely not, I don't think I knew any places in California and he knew I wouldn't know. But you see, when you have a bond with someone you just want to know all about them. It's a bit like falling for someone, you want to know their life. No matter how illogical that is given the very short time together.

"Tiger Town!" He told me with a little smile. "It's a small town," he added to lessen the blow that I'd never heard of it, but it didn't matter if I didn't know his home town.

I think I found Tiger Town, San Luis Obispo, California, which was known as the Barrio del Tigre (Spanish for 'Tiger Town') in the late 19th century, owing to the multitude of robberies and murders taking place there. Whether I found it or not is of little consequence, what's important are those connections, which are what life is and I never forgot John Stevens even if it's now a distant memory.
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[Updated on: Mon, 12 June 2023 11:03]

Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78538 is a reply to message #78537] Mon, 12 June 2023 21:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cole parker is currently offline  cole parker

Toe is in the water
Location: California
Registered: July 2018
Messages: 33



Not that it's at all germane here, but just as a point of interest, Cal Poly SLO and Cal Poly Pomona, sister universities, both Cal State schools, are very highly rated engineering schools and competition for admission at both is very fierce.  CP SLO was the 8th best of 220 engineering programs in the country in 2021 for schools granting undergraduate engineering degrees.

San Luis Obispo is about midway between San Francisco and L.A., quite near the coast.

Cole
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78540 is a reply to message #78538] Wed, 14 June 2023 18:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ray2x is currently offline  ray2x

Really getting into it
Location: USA
Registered: April 2009
Messages: 428



There's a third sister Cal Poly just recently introduced as Cal Poly Humboldt, formerly known as Humobldt State University. Took a trip up to Humboldt County with my daughter, to see if she might consider coming to Cal Poly Humboldt as her first college of choice. She decided against enrolling into Cal Poly H., but she very much enjoyed seeing the Redwood Forests surrounding the county, and the much rougher northern portion of the Pacific Ocean. Plus, I had to take her to the Eureka Inn where I worked and where I had many sexual moments with my bellboy boyfriend. The bellboy and the busboy made quite the couple. And NO, I didn't mention any of what went on between the bellboy and the busboy.
Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78541 is a reply to message #78540] Thu, 15 June 2023 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cole parker is currently offline  cole parker

Toe is in the water
Location: California
Registered: July 2018
Messages: 33



I've heard of Humbolt State; had no idea it was now a polytechnic school.

Everyone should have visiting the redwoods on their bucket list.  The solemnity of the place, the silence and majesty of the trees accompanied by the awareness many are more than 2,000 years old, some as old as 4,000, is almost overwhelming.  It's an experience no one forgets.

C

[Updated on: Thu, 15 June 2023 21:19]

Re: Young people in England and Wales twice as likely to identify as LGB+  [message #78542 is a reply to message #78460] Fri, 16 June 2023 04:56 Go to previous message
ThisRick is currently offline  ThisRick

Getting started
Location: Western USA
Registered: October 2021
Messages: 14



Thanks for sharing your story, Ray.

It's good to see some responses in the forum, it's been so quiet and I appreciate the conversations here.

Rick, another clueless youth in the dark days.
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