Thursday, October 23, 2008


This just in from

A massive 25,000-person survey of gay men and lesbians conducted by Community Marketing Inc. is revealing new insights about the demographic and consumer tends of the LGBT population. The survey found that there are approximately 1.3 million gay and lesbian households in the United States with children under the age of 18, gay and lesbian consumers are more likely to have used a Visa card than other Americans, and they are also more likely to buy products from companies that treat their LGBT employees well and advertise in gay media.

Tom Roth, president of Community Marketing Inc., said the 2007 Gay Consumer Index and 2007 Lesbian Consumer Index, which is based on data collected from more than 12,000 men and 10,000 women, could be used by marketers interested in targeting gay consumers. “Our community has risen to the forefront among corporate marketing executives in recent years, but most campaigns have relied on a ‘shotgun’ approach to reaching various segments...” Roth said.

These indices are a comprehensive and truly representative statistical picture of gay and lesbian consumers. They tell us who the U.S. lesbian and gay consumer is, including an unprecedented profile of the demographic and psychographic details of their motivations, issues and preferences.” ...CMI senior research director and survey architect Jerry McHugh notes that marketers who in the past have actively targeted LGBT consumers most likely have only been engaging gay men, who make up only half of the market.

“Marketers and advertisers haven’t had the tools to understand that t
here is no single LGBT community in terms of consumer statistics. It is a diverse melting pot of people who cannot be reached with one type of campaign or communications channel,” said McHugh... Survey respondents work in a variety of careers, although both women and men cited the same top two career fields: medical and education. The third was accounting or finance for gay men and legal or government sector for lesbians.

In terms of family life, 65% of lesbians and 46% of gay men and are partnered or live with a significant other ; the number of couples with children under the age of 18 is 20% for lesbians and 5% of gay men.

the median household income for gay men is $83,000 per year (gay singles $62,000; gay couples living together $130,000), almost 80% above the median U.S. household income of $46,326, according to US census data. 40% of gay men reported household incomes in excess of $100,000 per year.

And from PFLAG:

The seven largest concentrations of the lesbian and gay population in the USA are: Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston/Cambridge, Seattle, Oakland/Berkeley, Washington, D.C., and Chicago/Evanston. [duh] Of all lesbians and gay men, 45.1% and 52.7% live in urban areas, respectively, while 33.1% and 31.7% live in the suburbs, respectively.


Over time, the age of desirability for gay men seems to get younger and younger. The age discrimination and lack of attention older or mature gay men receive is synonymous to the pressure some women feel to get married or have children by a certain age.

Today, gay men are coming out at younger ages. It's no longer a shock to hear of an openly gay 14-year-old or a 16-year-old in a gay relationship. Even gay bars see floods of 18-21 year old gay boys seeking love and sex from their peers, leaving older gay men on the side lines. The recent attention and broader acceptance of gay marriage has also contributed to increased pressure for gay men to find love "before it's too late" or "while they are still desirable."

Of course, this doesn't make mature gay men charity cases, it only increases the pressure as aging gay men begin to think about their futures.
Some gay men also argue that other gays continue to search for the "fountain of youth" with plastic surgery, eating disorders, excessive gym hours and am obsession with body image.

According to the Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center:

Nearly 20% of gay seniors have no one to care for them should they become ill, vs. 2% for heterosexual seniors, and 2/3 of gay seniors live alone vs. 1/3 of heterosexual seniors.

From Forbes, everyone's favorite center for forward thinking:

One-Third of HIV-Infected Gay Men Have Unsafe Sex [CDC]

Two new U.S. studies of gay and bisexual men who know they are infected with HIV show that more than one-third have recently had unprotected intercourse. In many cases, these men are engaging in unprotected sex with other HIV-infected men--a practice called "serosorting," where partners with a similar, HIV-positive blood test status decide to forego condoms.

However, "we also found that
almost a third of the men--31.4 percent--said that they had had unprotected anal intercourse with at least one partner of unknown serostatus, and almost a quarter had unprotected intercourse with a partner who they knew was HIV uninfected," said the lead author of one of the studies, Dr. Kenneth Mayer, medical research director at Fenway Community Health, in Boston.

He and other researchers in HIV/AIDS presented their findings during a teleconference Monday, part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National HIV Prevention Conference, in Atlanta.
"There are now more than one million people estimated to be living with HIV in the United States, more than ever before," said Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

He also noted that half of all U.S. cases of HIV infection still occur among "men who have sex with men" (MSM), the CDC's umbrella term for gay and bisexual men, as well as men who may not identify as such but engage in male-male sexual activity. And, Mayer added, unsafe sex was strongly linked to the use of recreational drugs, particularly methamphetamine, and was 60 percent more likely among younger men than older men.

The HIV epidemic in the United States may, in fact, be on the rise. According to recent media reports, sources close to CDC statisticians say that the annual rate of new HIV infections in the United States may soon be bumped up by 50 percent--jumping from 40,000 new cases annually to up to 60,000...

New statistics on rates of unprotected sex among gay and bisexual men are more certain, however. In Mayer's analysis, researchers had more than 500 Boston-area HIV-infected gay or bisexual men complete "behavioral risk assessments." Three-quarters of the men were white, with ages ranging from 21 to 70.

The research team found that 37.3 percent of the men said they had engaged in unprotected anal intercourse over the past three months.
In 41.3 percent of these cases, unsafe sex took place with another HIV-infected partner, but in 31.4 percent of cases the unprotected behavior took place with a partner whose HIV status was unknown. In 23 percent of cases, the infected man engaged in unprotected sex with a partner he knew to be HIV-negative, the study found.

Another study, this one led by CDC researcher Nicole Crepaz, found similar results. Her team reviewed data from 27 studies published between 2000 and 2006. The studies included more than 10,000 gay or bisexual men who knew they were HIV-positive. "The team found that more than a third--or about 35 percent--of men in the studies reported having unprotected intercourse overall," Fenton said at the news conference. Again, "serosorting" was found to be widespread, with 30 percent of the men admitting to that practice, the study found.

Black gay and bisexual men, especially, have been hit hard by HIV/AIDS, but another study showed them to be more likely to engage in safe-sex practices than their white counterparts. In another CDC study, researchers examined data from 53 studies conducted from 1980 to 2006. The studies compared the safe-sex behaviors of black and white gay and bisexual men.

"Across all studies, there were no overall differences [by race] in reported unprotected receptive sex or any unprotected anal intercourse," said the study's lead author, Gregorio Millet, a behavioral scientist at the CDC.

In fact, "among young MSM--those ages 15 to 29--African-Americans were one third less likely than whites to report in engaging in unprotected anal intercourse," he said. Black gay or bisexual men were also "36 percent less likely than whites to report having as many sex partners as white MSM," he added. Blacks in the study were also less likely to use recreational drugs, such as methamphetamine or cocaine, compared to whites. Other studies presented at the teleconference showed close correlations between recent spikes in syphilis and gonorrhea among gay and bisexual men and rates of HIV infection in this population.

And, in a finding that puzzled experts, another study showed that circumcision--long thought to reduce HIV infectivity--does not help shield black or Latino men from the virus. All of the new statistics confirm that much more must be done, the experts said.

And on top of all that, you can put your head on the railway tracks nowadays and wind up waiting days, if not weeks, for a helpful freight train...

Keep on hanging on, kids.

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