Six Million LGBT Americans Have 'Come Out' on Facebook

The social network found spikes in "coming out" after high-profile events like June's Supreme Court same sex marriage ruling.

Oct 15 2015, 6:53pm

Image: Franco Bouly/Flickr

A Facebook study published on Thursday sheds some light on how members of the LGBT community are using the social network.

Released four days after National Coming Out Day, the study noted that 800,000 Americans on Facebook updated "their profile to express a same-gender attraction or custom gender," which is the social network's definition for coming out. A total of 6 million Americans have come out on Facebook, the study noted, with 78 percent of these people having done so since 2012.

Facebook published the study in part to illustrate the increased support that members of the LGBT community feel on the social network, with 5.7 million Americans liking at least one LGBT-related page, such as GLAAD or Equality Now.

Another one of these groups, Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement released after the study was published that coming out on Facebook makes "bigger coming out moments possible," noting the outpouring of support that the LGBT community received after the Supreme Court's ruling in June that paved the way for same sex marriage.