coming out

How Long Before Most Gays Tell People They’re Gay Before Puberty?

Homosexuals are coming out at younger and younger ages, claims a new study from the British advocacy group Stonewall. Quizzing 1,500 people online, the survey finds “that among the over-60s the average age they had come out was 37,” relays the Guardian. “But those in their 30s had come out at an average age of 21, and in the group aged 18 to 24 it was 17.” And soon we’ll find out the 14-18 set are coming out at 5. [photo via]

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #comingout #kids #stonewall stories and more



    Makes sense, I was 8 before I was 7 :p

  • Marcus M.

    I honestly had no clue I was gay until after puberty. I don’t doubt that some kids know early on, but it was literally like a chemical change for me. I remember being in the 9th grade and getting an International Male catalog in the mail for some reason and knowing that everything had changed.

  • RJ

    This is nice. I started coming out at 14 and came out fully at 16. I honestly wish I had come out at 10(I hit puberty early and instantly knew I was gay) so I think it’s good that they come out at a young age.

  • jason

    I’m not entirely comfortable with the notion of a gay identity when you’re still in your formative years. In your formative years, you’re still developing. A gay identity at this time of your life can actually be confining, not liberating.

    I’m all for people being honest and unashamed of their feelings orientation-wise but the gay identity can, for some, be a millstone.

  • Sean

    I think the trend is pretty probable, but those numbers definitely exaggerate it. For the 18-24 range, aren’t some people still in the process of coming out, or still closeted/in denial? When you look at the 18-24 age range, you are selecting specifically for those people who have already come out at a young age.

    Doing the same survey repeatedly over time would tell you more than just taking a snapshot of different age groups right now.

  • Ian

    @jason: I had a very strong inkling throughout my childhood back in the 70’s (my love of the Wonder Woman tv show should have been evidence enough!), but back then the only gay character on tv was on the sitcom ‘Soap’ way past my bedtime, there was no internet, etc. Feeling isolated in a midwestern state I buried my orientation from my consciousness repeatedly until I finally came out at age 22. I would have loved to have been able to proudly embrace my orientation and true identity as a child, I know I would have found it very empowering.

  • Jeffree

    I knew I was more “interested” in men than women as early as five y/o.—due to my uncle taking off shirt to swim in the lake during a family picnic! Didn’t come out to a friend until 11th grade, to family the next year. First year of college I was still shy but it all happened gradually after that.

    I’m personally glad I waited awhile before telling people, because I needed time to deal with my own insecurity and to read everything I could find!

  • jason

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we shouldn’t embrace our feelings orientation-wise. I’m simply saying that the gay identity is a different kettle of fish and can be quite burdensome. Identity politics is not something that I’m entirely comfortable with for people in their formative years.

    Keep in mind that the gay notion has been sullied by politics and commerce. Gay has become a marketing ploy that is exploited by politicians and business owners for the purpose of winning votes and making money. When a person is in his formative years, adding this sullied notion to their psyche can be disorienting and fundamentally disillusioning.

  • What

    Gay identity isn’t something that’s derived from age. Not only is that one of the most ridiculous suppositions I’ve heard, but is also completely lacking in empirical data. Heterosexuals don’t develop a heterosexual identity in something other than their “formative” years (which, frankly, is a terribly nebulous term, completely devoid of meaning), and neither should LGBT people. People may, however, delay their gay identity formation as a direct result of internal suppression, which was probably the case for you (since only an older gay male would ever make this argument).

  • don

    telling a gay to announce he is gay ,why should this have to happen women dont announce that they are on the rag.if u know what you are that is all that matters or when you have to live your life a secert such as ricky martin and others

Comments are closed.