Most Young Gay Men Think The Gay Community Is Fractured, Study Finds

Researchers found that while acceptance is at an all-time high, expectations have risen to match.

A new study sponsored by Logo reveals that, while the LGBT community has made enormous strides in recent years, young gay men think we’re more fractured than ever.

“Gay Men in America: Community at a Crossroads,” which incorporates responses from 1,000 gay men ages 18-49, reveals that 61% of gay men in their 20s and 30s believe “in the past, the gay community was more united than it is today.”

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Other findings include:

* 85% agree, “even as gay people become more accepted, we should have places that are just for us.”

* 6 in 10 gay men in their 20s say “now that gay marriage is legal in so many places, my family expects me to get married and have children one day.”

* 88% agree, “gay people shouldn’t have to conform to straight people’s norms and values.”

* 65% of men in their 20s/30s agree that “today, the big struggle is figuring out what kind of gay man I want to be”

* 60% agree, “it’s harder for younger gay men to take advice from older gay men because the world is so different today.”

* 92% of gay men hope the community becomes more accepting of each other.

There was good news from the study, too: 95% of all respondents agreed that, “younger gay men are embracing their gay identity more so today than in the past.”

Two in three agreed that “my life is more interesting because I’m gay,” and 75% said that it “has had a positive effect on my life.”

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Interestingly, 55% of gay men in the 20s say their sexual orientation is very important to their identity, compared to only 40% of gay men in their 40s.

“We wanted to talk to our audience and find out how these greater forces are shaping both their connection to the community and individual identities,” Logo GM Chris McCarthy said. “We find that many of them are enjoying the acceptance won by the struggles of the past, but also longing for the galvanizing effect those struggles had on the gay community.”

Below, NewNowNext talked to different generations of gay men to get their perspective firsthand.
 

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
@ItsDanAvery