In a recently published study looking at various health disparities of LGBTQ adults, the AARP found that gay men are the most likely of any sexual orientation to be single over the age of 45.
The AARP surveyed 1,782 people across the United States. Of which, 57% of gay men over 45 reported being single, compared to only 39% of lesbians, and 48% of bisexual men and women.
Half of trangender respondents in the same age bracket reported being partnered, with 35% of them married.
The purpose of the study was to discover unique challenges the LGBTQ population experiences as they age, focusing on (lack of) support networks.
Over three quarters of all the survey respondents reported that they were worried about having adequate family or social support systems as they grow older. Seventy-three percent were also concerned about access to LGBTQ-specific senior services.
“Gay men are far more likely to live alone, and this will influence the types of services needed by gay men as they age,” said the study. “Further, when asked about their social support network, gay men are less connected compared to lesbians on every relationship type tested, from LGBT friends to straight friends, from partners to neighbors.”
While there are many hypotheses as to exactly which factors contribute to the higher rate of single gay men, it’s likely a combination of numerous influences, including internalized homophobia, gay sex apps that promote hook-up culture, the insecurities gay men face from growing up queer in a society that often deems us second-class, as well as the AIDS epidemic.