Six in ten LGBTQ+ Brits would find life ‘easier’ if they were straight

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Research of 2,000 adults, of which 249 were LGBTQ+, found one in three (34 percent) of these have come out via text message.

But one in five heterosexual respondents claim those who do publicly “come out” only do so “for attention”.

The research was commissioned to launch Daniel Harding’s book “Gay Man Talking: All The Conversations We Never Had”.

It explores the role of the “Gay Best Friend”, and other crucial conversations.

The writer and broadcaster said: “Coming out is something no one can ever take for granted.

“To the person doing it, it’s potentially the scariest or riskiest thing they’ll ever do – and to the people they come out to, it could change their dynamic forever.

“People lose family or friends from this process – so it comes as no surprise the majority feel their life would be easier if they were not LGBTQ+.

“For lots (not all), our journey is coloured with hate, abuse, fear, and living in a skin you don’t recognise. Who wouldn’t dream of an easier path if that was an option?

“However, despite people often wondering how life would be if we were all society’s mould, finding comfort and confidence is paramount in our journey, and that starts with conversations – because being your true self is vital.”

Traditional stereotypes about homosexuality are still commonplace, with almost a third (31 percent) of all respondents considering the typical gay man to be “camp or effeminate”.

Nearly one in three heterosexuals also believe coming out is “no longer an issue”, according to the OnePoll figures.

More than half (52 percent) have never had anyone come out to them, which most often happens in person – although one in four have had someone come out over video call.

And a fifth admit they would be confused about how to handle such a situation, if one were ever to come up.

One in ten believe they would be accepting, but need some time to “adjust” to the new reality, if a friend or family member came out to them.

A worrying 14 percent of heterosexuals also admit to having bullied someone for being different – a figure that rises steeply to 40 percent in the homosexual community.

Daniel Harding, whose book “Gay Man Talking” is available now, added: “I wanted to explore attitudes, challenge stereotypes, and have awkward conversations that are often left unsaid, through my book.

“Often, we come out and then “shut up” in fear. But silence is deadly. We need to speak, we need to find allies and support.

“Are we just the Gay Best Friend, the Gay Son, the Guncle? Do we need a label? Are we comfortable with the one people are giving us?

“There is unfortunately a lot of toxicity inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community.

“But in having conversations, uncovering this research, and finding representations, we are changing narratives and helping so many people still living in their shadow.

“Today, in 2022, we are more widely accepted, but as this research suggests and the journey that still lies ahead of us, there is still a long way to go – we need to all have more discussions.”

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