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Openly gay and bisexual men are happier than straight men, says study

Monday, February 4, 2013

MONTREAL, Quebec — Openly gay and bisexual men are happier than straight men, according to a new University of Montreal study published in the Jan. 29, 2013 issue of Psychosomatic Medicine magazine.

Researchers conducted a study of 87 lesbian, gay, bisexual and heterosexual Canadians, some of whom were still closeted, while others were living openly regarding their sexual orientation.

The study found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals who had told their family and friends about their orientation suffered from far less anxiety, depression and burnout than heterosexuals and closeted gays and lesbians.

In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, study lead author Robert-Paul Juster, said that as a group, gay and bisexual men who are out of the closet were less likely to be depressed than heterosexual men and had less physiological problems than heterosexual men.

“Our research suggests coming out of the closet has some health benefits. Coming out is no longer a matter of popular debate, but a matter of public health,” Juster said.

Juster says that previous studies have shown gay and bisexual men are more likely to work out and eat a healthy diet than heterosexual men, which could be one of the reasons they were less often depressed. The act of discussing their sexuality with friends and family may also play a role, he suggests.

“Something about coming out of the closet might make them more resilient — if you go through a major, stressful event like that you have to develop coping strategies that you might be able to use in the future,” he says.

Juster noted that more studies are needed, especially those that focus on the mental health of gay and bisexual women and men who live in U.S. states that have approved marriage equality.

“I think in the United States we have a golden opportunity to look at states before and after gay marriage legalization and passage of other policies,” Juster said. “I’d like to do a similar study, using a lot of biological measures, to see if there’s something about legalization [of same-sex marriage] that improves mental health.”

Among the report’s conclusions is that coming out has a positive impact on the health and well-being of sexual minorities.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. openly gay and lesbian people are always happier than straight people

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:02pm
  2. Who said?

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:02pm
  3. keeping it real and open

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:02pm
  4. Gay means happy so of course we are happier lol

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:03pm
  5. Because they don’t have to deal with women.

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:03pm
  6. ~~~ Misogyny ~~~

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:04pm
  7. true

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:04pm
  8. Yea, the ones who actually have a partner in their lives -_- I’m an openly Gay Young Man, where’s my happiness? >.>

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:07pm
  9. Im happy with my wonderful boyfriend Jared Paquette <3

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:08pm
  10. TRUTH…….

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:09pm
  11. Where do I catch this train?

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:15pm
  12. oh of course :D I’m very happy

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:21pm
  13. I don’t think it has much to do with having a partner. We tend to have a better attitude.

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:24pm
  14. That’s horse shit. I’m miserable as hell

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:24pm
  15. I think weve become more adapted to creating happiness with various situations and mind-sets.

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:26pm
  16. Jonathan, you will find your way, just wait!

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:31pm
  17. Why do you think they call us gay? Duh!

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:45pm
  18. I agree. We learn to find our way, leading us to greater opportunities to find our own inner happiness that straight men, who follow the path that society has for them rather than following their own path.

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 8:54pm
  19. Outer behavior congruent with inner feelings, thoughts..etc.

    Posted on Monday, February 4, 2013 at 10:57pm
  20. I’m not surprised…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 4:12am
  21. Of course! We’re just more fabulous ^_^

    Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 5:03am
  22. of course straight men have to deal w/ women…and WE’RE NUTS!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 8:27am