There are now more Irish people identifying as gay than ever before, a new study has shown.
The survey, carried out by Dublin innovation studio Connector found that while 70% of participants identified as "completely heterosexual", 23% of people defined her sexual orientation as neither completely gay or straight, where 7% identified as gay.
This is quite high in contrast to the UK and Australia where the number of people who identify as gay are estimated to be between 1.5% and 3.5%.
While this is great news in terms of LGBTQ people being more accepted in Irish society, the survey also found that about a fifth of participants were largely unaware of "alternative" sexualities. Of those surveyed, 40% could not define terms such as asexual, pansexual and cisgender, while 25% had never even heard the terms mentioned before.
However, 22% of people reported that they are more accepting of people of non-traditional gender identity than they were a year ago with 12% of people knowing someone who uses non-binary pronouns.
When asked how open Irish society is to trans people, 40% said that the general Irish public would be uncomfortable sharing a bathroom with a trans person. Conversely, only 16% admitted that they would react negatively to a trans person using their bathroom.
18% for people don’t consider it important for public spaces to have gender-neutral access, and do not believe that they are becoming more accepting of non-traditional gender identities. Most interestingly, age is actually a postivive factor in acceptable of alternative gender identities; 28% of all 14-17-year-olds don't accept gender neutral pronouns, compared to 6% of all 45-54-year-olds and 12% of those who are 54 years or older.
According to Connector, this gap suggests that people become more accepting as they get older and experience different situations and perspectives.
The research showed that heterosexual people were more likely to be aware of alternative sexualities and more accepting of non-traditional gender identities if they have family or friends who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Commenting on the research, Ivan Adriel, Innovation & Strategy Director at Connector said: “Connector is a proud supporter of the LGBT community and we believe that creative innovators need to create work that reflects the society and push boundaries of the acceptance. Advertising is one of the strongest forces to challenge perceptions and we want this research to be an eye opener for marketers to become more inclusive”.
While we've come on a long way as a nation, we still have a lot further to go.