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#404789 04/09/08 11:08 AM
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The most common figure one hears for the percentage of homosexuals in a given population is 10%. I was reminded of this a week or so ago as I heard a "news' blurb where Rosie O'Donnell made some remark about a politics and "10% of the population".

It made me wonder again - is this an accurate estimate and am I right in believing it is the percentage most often cited as accurate?

I also wondered because I thought of myself in certain situations - at work, with my family and so on.

I work in a fairly big place. I think of the aisle I work in and my co-workers. Of course I am not sure of all of my co-workers sexual orientation, but I know that if I start in the front corner of the aisle and count desk by desk, I have to go 27 desks before I get to the first gay guy - again, I am not sure he is gay, but I think so. Then it goes on another 8 'hetero desks' before I come to a majority of workers I don't know.

I think of my family - extended nuclear (parents, brothers sisters, cousins, nieces nephews - none of those 37 people are homosexual to my knowledge.

So where are the 10% of the population that is gay? I work in amateur theater and even that isn't a sure thing (in 'straight' theater, not musical); the current production involves cast, crew and house totaling 13 people. The one gay cat doesn't brings us to 10%.

When you make these same examinations of co-workers, friends and social acquaintances, what kind of numbers do you get?

Do I just live in some hetero enclave?

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FrankJBN #404813 04/09/08 12:20 PM
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Actually I am a college student and we discussed this in my social problems class. My prof. (a generally very observant and realistic guy) was talking about how he didn't believe that stat because it would require us to have 3 gay students in our class and he didn't believe there was even one. I openly laughed but didn't feel the desire to out the 2 other people who attend the LGBT group with me or the young man who I had seen two days earlier making out with his lover. The thing is your not going to be able to "tell" with most people. In fact no one can tell with me personally (unless I "advertise" with rainbows!)

And I can tell you that most of my extended family does not know (I feel no need to tell the people I see twice a year until I have a life partner) so it is also possible you have a few closeted members..its not easy to come out to family - thats actually the hardest step!

You might also take into account that it doesn't mean 10 percent of every group it means 10 percent total - so while your family doesn't reach 10 percent mine reaches just about 30 hehe so we balance you out!

Mindy - #404833 04/09/08 01:39 PM
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I guess it is possible that some of my married siblings and cousins and their children are homosexual, but I am old enough now that all of them have been married for over 10 years.

Likewise with my co-workers, I guess they could be on the 'down-low' including the singles I know to be active in the heterosexual 'market'.

I think it is rather a bit much for us to assume that there is a fair chance that married people are closeted.

In a way that seems unfair - that one can be assured that people engaged in a homosexual relationship are gay or bi, but apparently one cannot make the same sort of claim for those in hetero relationships - they might be gay, just hiding it. You never hear that about same sex couples - they could be straight, just hiding it.

I am somewhat surprised to hear that your family "reaches just about 30" percent homosexuality since you write "most of my extended family does not know".

I have to take it the other two out of ten homosexual members of your family are more open than you are about their sexuality? Or do you only know among yourselves? Is it 3 out of 10 or ...

I'm not joking, just asking.

How about in your other classes?

"In fact no one can tell with me personally" So you do not engage in dating and don't have a girl friend?

That's really how I am sure of the homosexuals I am sure of, (other than those who pretty much introduce themselves as gay, which haoppens more than I like - I really don't care what anyone's sexual activity is if it has no impact on my sexual activity) because they engage in homosexual relationships. As said above, I grant the same assumption to those I know in heterosexual relationships.

Thanx for your response.


FrankJBN #404842 04/09/08 01:58 PM
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The 10% is a figure from the Kinsey experiments. It is widely debated as it is very hard to prove empirically the true number since there is a lot of things involved. The 10% is a nice smooth number that encompases the gay, lesbian, and bi person. However, you must think of sexuality as a fluid thing, we tend not to be 100% something or other. So depending on the person and where they stood, a person could be considered hetyero or bi one year, and years later discover they are actually gay. Then there is the trans person, the intersexed and so forth.

I think depending on where you are the number can be higher or lower.


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Lady J #413565 05/01/08 12:33 PM
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smile oh in response to franks question (this is way past due) yes I do engage in dating but regardless of if I am on a date because of how I look (rather "typical" and very "girly") people assume I am with a very close friend. I still get hit on by men while I am on a date - and even when pointing out I am on a date am todl that I am only saying that I am gay to get out of giving them my number.

So yes I do all the things any person would do in a relationship or on a date - but people still cannot tell I am gay.


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Lady J #415775 05/07/08 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted By: Jase GLBT Editor
However, you must think of sexuality as a fluid thing, we tend not to be 100% something or other.


Yes, I think this is the most important point. I identify as bisexual (and so now my family knows) if forced to use a label. So I would presumably count in that 10%, though there's nothing in my life (married w/ kids, cute little bungalow, "mom" car, all that jazz) that would suggest I'm not unequivocally heterosexual. If most of the people around me now knew, I think it would shock them.

Frank, I think Mindy's point about it being 10% of the total population is important, too. My group of friends in college was about 90% GLBT; the people I know now may push 2% if I had to guess. So looking at just the people around us is a tough way to tell.

Brandi - #416829 05/10/08 01:02 AM
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I think an easy way to visualize this is that 13% of the US population is black. Are 13% of the people around you black? Even putting aside issues of knowing / not knowing which certainly exist, there are pockets of populations of ALL types of people scattered about. So even if you happen to live somewhere that there are not many homosexuals - there is likely another place in the US to off-set your location, which has a high percentage of that group of people.

Provincetown, Massachusetts for example has far more gay people than I imagine Austin, Texas does.

One quote is that Provincetown is "only 60% gay".

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Lisa LowCarb #416830 05/10/08 01:05 AM
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Stats in San Francisco are that 10% of the population are living in a same-sex partnership. So that's not even counting "closeted" or single gay people. It is just couples who are actively living together and gay.


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