Actually, we’re not OK, Cupid. Not when it comes to three big issues that divide single lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer-identifying Americans.
These hot topics aren’t all that different from those faced by cisgender heterosexual singles: do you want to get married, do you want to have kids, and would you date someone who’s transgender? The surprising result was that those taking part were split almost 50/50 on each of those questions.
Match.com has been conducting this survey of singles for years, according to the Washington Post. But for the first time they also asked 1,000 LGBTQ singles, ages 18 to 70, questions like, when did they come out, how much sex they’re having, who should pay for dates and where they’re meeting those dates.
Nearly half of those who comprise the LGBTQ population in the U.S. identifies as single, according to researcher Justin Garcia. He worked as a scientific adviser to Match, and found the vast majority of those responding — 80 percent — were looking for a relationship that involved commitment. And yet he found that commitment only went so far, even one year after marriage equality; Garcia noted what the Post called “diminishing interest in marriage” that he also found in heterosexuals who took part in a separate survey.
But there was one group with a higher percentage of marriage-minded singles: millennials. A whopping 62 percent of those respondents reported a lifelong ambition to say “I do,” 20 percent felt ambivalent, and 18 percent said marriage was never a consideration. Singles in the 35 to 49 year old group commonly called Generation X felt less strongly about wanting to marry, with just 57 percent saying yes to the dress or the tux, 19 percent felt “meh,” and 25 percent couldn’t care less. Baby boomers and others age 50 and older were split down the middle: 50 percent said they had always dreamed of their wedding day; the rest reported ambivalence or no interest at all.
When it came to kids, 48 percent of younger LGBTQ singles said they wanted children.
And when the question of dating someone trans came up, again the survey found a deep divide: more than half of those participating said they would not date someone who identifies as transgender.
That finding surprised Garcia, according to the newspaper. “I thought more people would be open to dating someone who’s transgender,” he said. “It was a good reminder that gender operates in very complicated ways; people are attracted to very specific things.” However, looking at the result another way, 47 percent of LGBTQ singles said they would be willing to date someone who is trans, and 44 percent said they would at least consider it, which is likely higher than the number of people that a single transgender American might expect.
For some of those who said they wouldn’t date a trans person, Garcia said it’s yet another issue of acceptance that trans people face. “For others, it’s because they’re committed to certain forms of masculinity and femininity in their romantic and erotic interests.”
Added together with discrimination in the job market, in housing and in just using a public bathroom, Garcia said it’s no wonder transgender individuals feel stigmatized or isolated. “Even within a group that people would presume is more accepting,” he said, trans people find themselves cast out and excluded.
It’s no surprise then that Match found transgender participants are the most likely of these groups to date online, roughly 65 percent.