This weekend’s British newspapers are reporting – with an undertone of homophobic glee – that an Office for National Statistics poll of 4,000 people found that “only” 1 in 100 described themselves as gay or lesbian. Read more closely thoughy and it becomes a little clearer and even heartening.
A further 1 in 100 of the 4,000 respondents identified as bisexual and 1 in 200 as “other”, while 15% were not recorded because the interviewer chose not to ask the question. So this was not some reassuringly anonymous survey method, it was members of the public being asked directly by a stranger whether they were bi, straight or gay.
The real story here is not “only 1 in 100”. It’s a remarkable 1 in 40 non-heterosexuals who are so comfortably out about their sexual orientation that they don’t feel they have to lie when being interviewed by a complete stranger.