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Outright 2006 Helps Brands Communicate Effectively with Gay Britain
Buying Power of Pink Pounds
'Gays and immigrants' are secrets of a thriving city - 2004
Americans Believe One In Five Is Gay Poll Shows - 2002
Diversity Champions facilitate access to the lesbian and gay markets - 2001
British Tourist Board Promote' Gay Britain'
Voting Intentions in 2000

How the British Compare in Bed
Facts and Figures from the USA
Gay Life & Style Expo Survey 2000

Pride Trust - Bass Taverns - United Airlines
Freedom Fair / Rainbow Television survey 1996
GBA Banking Survey
The Gay Lifestyle
Gay Business Association
GMFA Gay Men's Census

Outright 2006 Helps Brands Communicate Effectively with Gay Britain

2006 is set to be an unprecedented year for gay and lesbian people as the advent of civil partnerships sees consumer spending across this sector set to escalate. But for gay and lesbian people there are still many social barriers, such as sexual discrimination, yet to overcome according to the results of a powerful new consumer research study released today (7 February 2006).

Jointly commissioned by Channel 4, OMD Insight and GaydarRadio, Outright 2006 is based upon a robust sample of 18,000 gay and lesbian respondents and 4,000 straight people, via OMD Snapshots and Channel 4. This makes the survey the largest ever to track the validity, strength, brand preferences and purchasing power of the UK gay and lesbian community. It delivers a unique knowledge base essential to successfully communicate with this distinctive marketplace - and in identifying three distinctive clusters of consumers within the gay and lesbian sector it also dispels a few common myths.

The research covers key topical issues such as coming out and discrimination, brand preferences and attitudes for six core consumer categories, and takes an in-depth look at their media consumption and preferred communication channels. The report establishes that more than a third of gays and lesbians claim to be more loyal to brands that are gay-friendly and half believe that if companies advertise in the gay media then they should tailor their advertising accordingly. Sony, Gillette, Calvin Klein, Nivea & Virgin are amongst the brands that they feel most positive towards. And in terms of media consumption, Channel 4, The Guardian, Metro, Gaydar and Google are among the information channels most preferred and used in the decision making process.

Clare Grimmond, Controller of Research, Channel 4, said: "Channel 4 has a clear remit to appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society and our commitment to the integration of gay and lesbian culture is demonstrated in programmes such as Big Brother, Queer as Folk, as well as our documentary output. This research will help us understand the lifestyle and attitudes of the gay and lesbian community in addition to giving us a wealth of knowledge about their purchasing and brand behaviour.

In the US, the advent of same sex marriages galvanised advertisers leading to the biggest increase in advertising spend to this sector since 2000. An explosion in adverts with gay specific content created a 28 per cent rise in ad spend to $207 million US. Most importantly, the 2004 gay press report found that more than 150 Fortune 500 brands were active in the gay consumer market place in 2004, up from 72 in 2001 and just 19 in 1994.

In the UK, the revolution has been much slower, but major brands are beginning to acknowledge the importance of targeting the gay demographic in a credible and ongoing way. What Outright 2006 delivers to them for the very first time is a substance behind the 'pink pound' speculation and the tools to communicate empathetically to the gay and lesbian marketplace David Muniz, Commercial Director of GaydarRadio, said: 'To be gay is an inherent and immutable identity, rather than an aberrant and elective agenda. The legalisation of civil partnerships has given gay men and women the validation and respect of mainstream culture that has until now been withheld.

'Today we are no longer asking the question if we should advertise to this group, but how do we effectively reach a market with a distinctive identity and unique needs. Outright Research 2006 tells advertisers and brands how.'

The research was carried out by OMD Insight, using Popshots, the online survey tool. Using this software the Outright survey was emailed to the Gaydar panel, used as a pop up on the Channel 4 website and was emailed to 2,500 respondents on the OMD Snapshots panel, providing a robust sample of 18,000 gays and 4,000 straight control group. Sarah Bridgman, Insight Manager, OMD Insight, said: 'Using OMD Pophots allowed us the flexibility to capture our respondents online in a number of ways. It also provided a really quick turnaround. We had 12,000 respondents within the first two days which was a phenomenal response.'

Outright 2006 Consumer Profiles

Outright 2006 identifies three distinctive clusters of gay consumers including:

Gay Style Setters - Men and women who give the gay community such a reputation for trend-setting. These people are happy to spend beyond their means to have this season's must have clothes and accessories. They like to stand out in a crowd and go to the best clubs, work out for that ultra good body and listen to cutting edge music. They are into Desperate Housewives, Attitude Magazine, Abercrombie and Fitch and Clinique. They gym up to six times a week and drink Vodka Redbull when clubbing till midday on Sunday.

Gay Pods - Slightly less into the latest club wear, these people shop at Selfridges and Harvey Nicks looking for the perfect item to show off their new kitchen in their warehouse apartment filled with THE latest gadgets. First to own an iPod, they simply can't be seen without a black Nano and are always first to buy the latest technology. They have Surround Sound and a digital camera small enough to slip into your wallet. They read NME and Heat, love going to music concerts and spend a lot of time downloading music onto their 3G phones.

Gay Home Birds - Comfortable with themselves and their lifestyle, this group relaxes on the sidelines and watches the fashion conscious from a distance as they prefer to spend more wisely and choose more trusted products and tried and tested brands. Likely to be found hopping off to the continent on Eurostar or shopping at mainstream stores like Tesco, they appreciate the value of companies like Easyjet. Homebirds, they take a keen interest in news, current affairs, read TV Times and Practical Photography and watch the BBC.

Outright 2006 - Topline Research Findings

Topical Issues Gay people have won the battle, but perhaps not the fight.

Coming Out - 82 per cent of gay men have come out as have 88 per cent of lesbians, but only two-thirds of them have come out to everyone. Of those, the majority claim to have come out to friends first as opposed to family and colleagues who they come out to slightly later in life.

Discrimination - Forty per cent say they have experienced discrimination as a result of their sexual orientation. Of these, 16-24 year olds are more likely to experience some sort of verbal or physical abuse. Of the 40 per cent, half said they had experienced discrimination in the workplace, and 60 per cent reported that they had experienced discrimination in the street. Sixty two per cent said the discrimination had been verbal and 34 per cent said they had suffered both verbal and physical abuse

Civil Partnerships - With regards to civil partnerships, 47 per cent said they were interested in getting married, although lesbians were 21 per cent more likely to go through a civil partnership ceremony than gay men.

Gay Trends

Gays are more likely to be early adopters with 60 per cent looking out for new products and services. 71 per cent say they like to be well informed about new brands and services

Sony, Gillette, Calvin Klein, Nivea & Virgin are amongst the brands that gays feel most positive towards

Gay people are generally more sociable and 51 per cent are keen to stay looking young, compared to 38 per cent of straight people.

Gay people are mostly likely to source their product information from the internet (93 per cent), followed by the TV (60 per cent) and radio (26 per cent). The combined internet/radio cross media sell reaches 79 per cent of gay people

Gay consumers are immensely brand loyal, with 72 per cent saying once they find a brand they like, they stick with it, compared to 65 per cent of straight people

Holidays and Travel

Gay travellers are more likely to take city breaks, with 64 per cent having done so in the past 12 months compared with 50 per cent of straight people.

Thirty-two per cent of gays would be prepared to splash out more than £2,000 on a dream holiday, compared with 27 per cent straights

And the celebrities gays would most like to have a holiday romance with are singer Will Young and Hollywood star Angelina Jolie

Toiletries and Cosmetics

Gay people across all clusters like to look good, spending an average of £30 a month on cosmetics compared to £16 a month for straights.

18 per cent of gay men use hair bleach or lighteners, compared with just five per cent of straight men, with 50 per cent gay men using an exfoliator or scrub, compared with 18 per cent straight men. Sixty-five per cent said they used a facial moisturiser.

71 per cent of those questioned agreed that gay men in general are more concerned about their appearance

Technology & Music

Gay people like to be well informed about gadget and technologies with 49 per cent of them more likely to use functions on their mobile phones such as video messaging and downloading compared with 35 per cent of straight people

Fifty-three per cent like to buy gadgets and appliances which reflect their sense of style and gay people are far more likely to invest in new technologies such as 3G mobile phones, Bluetooth and MP3

Eighty-five per cent of gay people say music plays an important part in their lives - and Madonna's Like a Prayer is their all time favourite music track


Pink people are more than happy to be in the red and spend beyond their means with a third admitting that they are in debt. Forty-five per cent admit that they tend to spend money without thinking, compared to 31 per cent straight people

Gay people owe more money on their credit cards, with a combined debt of £2,145 compared with straight people who owe £1,800

Gay people tend to be far less positive towards financial brands compared to straight people

Media Consumption

Almost all respondents (98 per cent) are online more than two times a week - and 79 per cent of gay people said they listened to the radio

Channel 4 was the favourite TV channel for both gays (22 per cent) and straights (23 per cent), followed by BBC-1 (16 per cent of gays), ITV and E4 (10 per cent of gays) and Living (8 per cent of gays)

Channel 4 was seen as the bravest channel in covering gay and lesbian issues by both gays (78 per cent) and straight people (71 per cent); the best in representing the gay and lesbian community by 57 per cent gays and 55 per cent straights; and the most provocative (59 per cent of gays and 56 per cent straights). They also felt that it was more ground breaking than any other TV channel

Fifty seven per cent of gays thought Channel 4 catered for audiences other channels failed to meet and 46 per cent said its programmes challenged the way they thought

Gay people said their favourite TV show of all time is Queer as Folk and gay people also have eclectic radio choices. Their favourite radio stations including GaydarRadio, Classic FM and Radio 1. Gay people are least likely to listen to Xfm and Smooth FM

Men's lifestyle magazines have more gay readers (12 per cent) than straight male readers (nine per cent), with 30 per cent of Gay style setters reading men's magazines regularly

The Guardian is regularly read by both groups (13 per cent gays and 12 per cent straight), with 19 per cent of gays saying they read the Metro regularly compared with 14 per cent straight people. Surprisingly, 61 per cent of gay people said they had never read the Pink Paper

Eighty-one per cent of gay people said they visited online personals site regularly, and both groups said Google was a regularly used site (68 per cent gays and 72 per cent straight people)

The Media Foundry, telephone 0207 612 1158/1159 Susann Jerry or Rana Rahman,

GaydarRadio - Sky Channel 908, online and digital radio in London and the South East.

OMD Insight is the research arm of OMD, the world's number one media planning and buying network,

Channel 4 has been Britain's most cutting edge, controversial and creative broadcaster of the last two decades.

Press release 7 February 2007

Gay Market Research Adds Up the Buying Power of Pink Pounds - All 70 Billion of Them

For the first time new research, reveals just how much the UK gay market is actually worth. Britain's 3 million gay and lesbian citizens last year earned over 70 billion pounds. This income - along with fewer children in gay households - leads to higher disposable gay incomes that are now attracting the marketing attention of some of the UK's biggest companies.

London, UK (PRWEB) January 23, 2006 -- The Pink Pound has been revealed to be worth over 70 billion pounds annually in the UK. New gay market research by Out Now Consulting for Gay Times and Diva magazines shows that the UK lesbian and gay community earned this much income last year, and appear to be spending much of it with gay abandon on a range of consumer expenditure categories.

Findings of the 'Out Now Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys' reveal that British lesbians and gay men, on average, are very well-employed, well-paid and are out spending their incomes on a range of lifestyle product categories.

"This is not necessarily news to us, as we have been working with companies to help them understand how to reach gay customers for over 15 years now," says Ian Johnson, managing director of Out Now Consulting - a specialist gay marketing consultancy that carried out the research. "What is new, however, in the UK market, is that because of this research, and for the first time, the value of gay consumers' expenditure on so many product categories can now be accurately measured. Importantly, these new figures include both gay men and lesbians. Other gay research in Britain has focused almost exclusively on men, and has not accurately captured simultaneous data from the lesbian segment of the gay market. This new research does this for the first time."

"The gay market is big business," says Johnson.

Last month UK administration officials at Whitehall revealed the total number of gay and lesbian people in the UK is believed by the British government to be 6% of the total adult population, or 3 million people.

"Now that the market is able to be accurately measured, more companies are developing marketing plans to better position their brands to attract gay and lesbian customers," says Johnson. "Benchmark UK brands such as Barclays Bank, British Telecom (BT), HMV and British Airways have all shown marketing interest in targeting the spending power of the gay and lesbian community. These companies are assessing their products, their communications and their distribution strategies to improve their gay market positioning. This trend seems set to continue with the improved insight into this market provided by this new research."

The research reveals that last year gays and lesbians in the UK spent more than 800 million pounds buying CDs, and even more (843 million pounds) on DVDs. Similar amounts were spent buying books and magazines.

Leisure travel features very highly in gay and lesbian spending patterns with total expenditure of more than 3 billion pounds being spent on tourism during 2005.

Mobile phone bills accounted for more than 1 billion pounds of gay market spending whilst clothing accounted for a further 1.9 billion pounds.

"These survey results show that, when it comes to new technology and media products, gay men and lesbians are quick to adapt, they consume certain product categories strongly, and enjoy average incomes higher than UK national averages," according to Kim Watson, Deputy Managing Director at MPG - publisher of Diva and Gay Times magazines.

Interesting differences are revealed in this new research between gay men and lesbians. Gay men spent more on leisure travel, DVDs and clothing last year than lesbians did, but UK lesbians outspent UK gay men in 2005 on their mobile telephone bills and on buying magazines and are far more likely than gay men to take a honeymoon after registering their civil partnerships.

Johnson also added that it is important to realise that not every lesbian or gay person is affluent or able to spend as much as others. "Gays and lesbians are a very diverse group of people, and quite obviously not everyone is earning above average incomes," says Johnson. "In terms of gay household incomes, the relative absence of children in gay relationships does increase the average levels of disposable income available for discretionary spending on these various consumer categories."

Notes to editors:

Publication of this information must be credited as the "Out Now 2005 Diva and Gay Times Readers Surveys", for copyright reasons.

6% of UK adults are believed to be lesbian or gay. Source: Whitehall, December 2005.

The report by Out Now Consulting, was undertaken following independent research with more than 1,000 readers of Diva and Gay Times magazines between March and October 2005. Sample size is 1118 respondents.

Average income of lesbian respondents is £21,593 per annum, rising to £24,783 per annum for those working full-time. Average income of gay male respondents is £28,841 per annum rising to £34,168 for respondents working full-time.

These figures are considerably higher than the UK national averages for men and women in general. Most recently published UK national average wage is £18,531 for women in full-time work and £24,236 for men in fulltime work (source: ASHE Gender Pay survey 2004).

Gay Times and Diva (published by Millivres Prowler Ltd.) are Europe's best selling gay and lesbian glossy news stand magazines. Gay Times was launched in 1984 and Diva in 1994, both titles are distributed by Seymour Distribution Ltd. Millivres Prowler Ltd. is Europe's largest media business targeting the gay and lesbian market and celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2004. In that same year the company registered as a Stonewall 'Diversity Champion' and achieved 'Investors In People' accreditation.

The calculations above are based on the UK gay market comprising a total of 3 million people, and expenditure levels revealed in this research being typical across the market. The data reflects the reported figures from readers of Diva and Gay Times magazines - the UK's best selling lesbian and gay magazines.

Established in 1992, Out Now Consulting is a leading source for gay marketing research and strategy, and is a global gay market agency relied upon by organisations involved with lesbian and gay people. Services include market research, training, advertising, public relations and strategy development. Out Now clients include Barclays Bank, IBM, Toyota, German National Tourist Office, Qantas Airways, Visit Britain, Lufthansa, South African Tourism and Citibank.

Ian Johnson, Managing Director
Out Now Consulting
Tel 07906 553 990

Kim Watson,
Millivres Prowler Ltd
Tel 020-7424 7460

23 January 2006

'Gays and immigrants' are secrets of a thriving city

An urban development in the US says the secret of a thriving city is having large gay and immigrant populations. Professor Richard Florida says homosexuals are one of the best indicators of a new "creative class" of thinkers and artists who drive economic growth.

He also says a large and varied ethnic minority population enriches the cultural diversity of cities. Professor Florida uses a gay index, a melting pot immigrants' index and scores on high-technology and creative occupations to predict a city's long-term economic potential.

"Gays tend to gravitate toward the types of places that will be attractive to many members of the creative class," he said. However, the gay index does not work on its own, he told the New Zealand Herald. Some cities with a large homosexual population, such as New Orleans and Miami, still struggle because they have no high-technology base. The top five large American cities on his creativity index are San Francisco, Austin, San Diego, Boston and Seattle, closely followed by Washington and New York.

Prof Florida says politicians who try to attract young families as their top priority are guilty of a losing strategy.'

Ananova:Tuesday 18th February 2004

Americans Believe One In Five Is Gay Poll Shows

A Gallup Poll shows that Americans believe 20 percent of the general population is gay or lesbian. The polling organization asked Americans for their own estimate of the percentage of American men and women who are gay or lesbian. The average responses were that 21% of men are gay and 22% of women are lesbians.

Roughly a quarter of those surveyed thought that more than 25% of the population is gay.

Gallup also noted that male respondents tended to give lower estimates of both the gay and lesbian populations than female respondents did, and that both sexes believe there are more gays of the opposite sex than of their own sex. At least one in six respondents did not offer an estimate.

Gallop has been polling the American public on gay issues for more than 25 years. The statistics contained in the survey are similar to a recent poll for the Kaiser Family Foundation. That survey, of fifteen metropolitan areas, found that 18% of those polled identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual. In the 1950s the Kinsey Institute shocked Americans when it said ten percent of the American population was gay.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said the new poll results show a growing awareness of gay and lesbians by Americans. "It's very difficult to say why these numbers are so much higher than previous studies," said Cathy Renna, GLAAD's news media director. "Clearly, the public realizes that the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community is sizable. Our hope is that this represents a better understanding of the complex nature of sexual orientation and a growing trend of respect and acceptance for our community and our lives."

" The Gallup numbers will certainly spur more debate and discussion, but the important message is that no matter what the numbers say, we are deserving of equal treatment and civil rights protections," Renna said.

by Beth Shapiro : October 9, 2002

Diversity Champions facilitate access to the lesbian and gay markets

In October 2001 Stonewall launched their Diversity Champions scheme at the CBI, with the aim of bringing together organisations interested in sharing best practice and developing work on tackling sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.

Among those already signed up are: B&Q, Barclays, BBC, Credit Suisse and First Boston Bank, Department for Education and Skills, Employment Service, GlaxoSmithKline, Home Office, HSBC, IBM UK and Marks & Spencer.

Members of the scheme will be able to gain advice on recruitment and retention, developing and implementing inclusive diversity policies, and tapping into the benefits of the 'pink pound'. Speaking at the launch, Cabinet Minister Baroness Sally Morgan outlined how the scheme will help companies prepare for compliance with the EU Equal Treatment Directive, which will outlaw sexual orientation discrimination and comes into force in 2004.

Recent research showed that 44 per cent of lesbians and gay men have experienced discrimination at work on grounds of their sexual orientation. 74 per cent of the general public believe that lesbians and gay men should not be sacked from their jobs because of their sexual orientation, and almost three quarters believe that lesbian and gay staff should not be treated less favourably because of the sexual orientation. (Source: TUC/BMRB International Poll, 2000).

Among the aims of Diversity Champions are: to build and enhance reputation, attracting employees, customers, investors and business partners; be an 'employer of choice', attracting and recruiting the best talent; foster innovation, creativity and efficiency through the fill utilisation of talent in a productive and motivated workforce; and to develop and expand market share and hence profitability by providing opportunities for marketing and publicity, and facilitate access to the lesbian and gay markets."

Stonewall Lobby Group


The BTA has published brochures aimed at gay American tourists and promoting Britain as a destination. Several Cities have joined in, including Manchester and Brighton. In research of the potential market of 22-55 year old gay men and lesbians they found:

$60,000 income per household living in Manhattan, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale/Miami and San Diego, 18.5 million people with high disposable incomes. They represent 10 per cent ($47 million) of the American travel industry.
• 89% took vacations
• 54% took 3 or more vacations
• 82% hold a valid passport (national average 18%)
• 54% budget $3,000 or more on a vacation
• 91% are college / university graduates

British Tourist Authority - Jan 2000 - Tel 020 8846 9000


In a survey carried out by Pink Paper and ID Research in April 2000, only 6 per cent of gay people said they voted Tory at the last election, with only 4 per cent saying they would vote Tory at the next election. 88 per cent found the Conservative party 'not gay friendly' or 'not at all gay friendly', and only 1 per cent found them 'gay-friendly'.

Meanwhile 56 per cent of gay people voted Labour at the last election, but only 36 per cent said they would vote Labour at the next election. 44 per cent found labour 'gay-friendly'.

About 25 per cent were going to vote Leberal Democrat, and 63 per cent thought the Liberal Democrats were 'gay friendly'. In the London Mayor elections, the poll found that 60 per cent of gay people were voting for Ken Livingstone (Ind), about 12 per cent Susan Kramer (LibDem) and about 8 per cent Frank Dobson (Lab).

Pink Paper - May 2000


World's highest number of unmarried teenage pregnancies.
- Average life includes sex 2,580 times with five partners.
- More stamina (21 mins) and more women under 20 who have extra marital sex than the rest of Europe.

- Lose virginity very late (over 20 for women), quickest lovers in the world (10 mins), and highest rate of condom usage in the world.

- Biggest users of online pornography, asking for dates by email as much as face-to-face.
- Only country where average age for losing virginity is rising.

- Make love for longer (30 minutes) with more partners in the last year than anyone.

- Less than 10 % of women use modern contraception, with each woman having an average six children.
- One in five teenage girls have a baby each year.

- Lose their virginity later than anyone else in Europe (19 for men, 20 for women) have less sex (100 times a year) and the quickest (14 mins).

Source: US Human Rights Campaign - 1999 Report 'The State of the Workplace'

Number of Fortune 500 companies with sexual-orientation nondiscrimination policies: in 1975 - 2 : in 1999 - 260

Number of Fortune 500 companies that provided health insurance to domestic partners: in 1980 - 0 : in 1999 - 70

Percentage of employers offering domestic partner benefits to both same-sex and opposite sex couples - 69 per cent.

First US employer to offer health insurance benefits to domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees - 'The Village Voice'

The First publicly held corporation to offer same-sex domestic partner benefits - 'Lotus'

First major corporation to adopt and then withdraw a policy offering domestic benefits to gay and lesbian employees - 'Perot Systems'

Number of states where more than 100 employers have policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation - 3

Number of states where no employers have been identified as having such non-discrimination policies - 5

Percentage of Americans who felt that gay men and lesbians should have equal rights in the workplace: in 1977 - 56%, in 1997 - 84%.

Domestic Partners Total US Population - 270,311,756 (100 per cent)

Number of Americans living with a domestic partner - 5,900,000 (2.2 per cent)

Number of domestic partners in same-sex relationships - 1,652,000 ("Current Population Survey" US Census Bureau, 1994 and 1998)

Earnings (according to 1990 census)
- Average earnings of gay men - $23,037
- Average income of gay/bisexual male households - $58,366*
- Average earnings of lesbian women - $17,497
- Average income of lesbian/bisexual female households - $45,166*
- Average earnings of heterosexual men - $24,979
- Average earnings of heterosexual women - $9,038
Average income of heterosexual households - $47,193*

*Figures reflect the 1990 household income only of individuals who have same-sex partners or who are married, not of those in 'single' households.


Published in OUT - December 1999.

UK earnings and disposable income

Gay Life and Style 2000
Survey of 283 visitors by GBA member Stormbreak

Download a pdf version of this report - courtesy of Stormbreak

How many gays are there in the UK?

The Thatcher government said it was 3 per cent, but previous research conducted by Stormbreak points to about 7 per cent.

An intersting survey finding was that 1 in 8 gay people knew of another gay person within their immediate family (and 1 in 5 knew of a gay person within their wider family). This means that in every 8 families there are 2 gay people. Since the average UK family size is estimated to be 3.5 people (taking into account lone parent families), it follows that for every 28 people, 2 will be gay (ie 7 per cent). Since there are approximately 45.5 million adults in the UK, this suggests that roughly 3.2 million of them are gay - a huge minority!

The Survey at the Gay Life & Style exhibition held at Olympia in July 2000, 283 exhibition visitors filled a self-completon questionnaire, of who two-thirds were gay men and one third lesbians. Half were under, and half were over the age of 35. Just over half lived with a partner in an average household size of two people.

Three in five owned their own homes. Two-thirds lived in London and a further one in five in other parts of the South East.

A reasonable ethnic mix was achieved, with one in four being non-white British. Almost half claimed not to ascribe to any relgion, while 44 per cent identified as Christian.

Growing up gay

The average age at which people realised they were gay was 15 for men and 18 for women. One in three knew they were gay by the age of 12. But the average age of 'coming out' was 23 for men and 25 for women - leaving a 7-8 year gap during which people kept their sexual identity to themselves.

Four out of five gay people found it either quite difficult or very difficult to come out - and only two per cent said it had been very easy for them.


Fewer than 40 per cent of men and 33 per cent of women were out to everyone who knew them.

Unwanted straight sex

One in three gay people surveyed either have felt at some point, or continue to feel, pressurised into having heterosexual sex. Two-thirds of gay people had at some point had heterosexual sex - more common for lesbians (75 per cent) than for gay men (40 per cent). The average age of first having sex with a same sex partner was 18 for men and 21 for women.


Only 10 per cent said they knew of an adult role model while they were at school who was identifiably gay, and, for the majority of them, this person was not seen to have been helpful in their 'coming to terms' with being gay. One in six gay people were still not out to their families (more commonly the youngest and oldest participants in the survey). The large majority (75 per cent), however, had found at least some family members to be supportive when they came out to them. In addition, 90 per cent of gay people found their families currently to be either quite or very supportive, and 80 per cent were in regular contact with their families.

Sexual behaviour

Age did not appear to be a significant factor in governing sexual behaviour -

A strictly monogamous relationship
A mainly monogamous relationship
Multiple partners/encounters
One main non-monogamous partnership
Occasional different partners

Causes for concern

One in five had had a sexual health check within the past three months (23 per cent men, 18 per cent women), but a similar number had never had a sexual check-up (women 27 per cent, men 16 per cent). Almost half of gay men and a third of gay women had had a sexual check-up in the past year. One in ten gay participants in the survey knew their HIV status to be positive, all of whom were men. One in four was unsure of their HIV status.

Only two-thirds of gay men said they always practised safer sex, and one in 10 said they rarely or never practised safer sex. Only 63 per cent of those who knew their HIV status to be positive said they always practised safer sex. A fifth of gay men said they were worried about becoming infected with HIV and a further two-fifths said this worried them to some extent.

Alarmingly, of the 19 men who rarely or never practised safer sex, 15 of them claimed not to be worried about HIV infection. Practically all gay men felt they were at least quite well informed about safer sex, and over two-thirds felt they were very well informed. Whilst one in three gay men had had an HIV test within the past year, the same number had never had an HIV test.

This is concerning in the light of recent advances in drug therapies which have proved more successful in preventing the development of AIDS the earlier the detection of the HIV virus. The average number of HIV tests ever undertaken was three. The large majority, 88 per cent, of those who had had HIV tests within the past three months were those who always or nearly always practised safer sex.

Pink Culture

Three in five gay poeple said they socialised in mixed gay and straight company, and only four per cent said that all their social contacts were gay. Fifty per cent of men, but only 17 per cent of women, said they went to gay pubs and clubs once a week or more often. The large majority (75 per cent) said they did not belong to any specifically gay social groups.

The pink press was found to be widely read, with only eight per cent saying they never read a gay newspaper. The Pink Paper was read by two-thirds of men and women, while Boyz was read by 60 per cent of gay men and Diva by 60 per cent of lesbians. Gay Times and Attitude were read by about one in three gay survey participants, although their readers were much more commonly males (exclusively in Attitude's case).

Over half attended Mardi Gras and about a third attended Summer Rites. However, women were more likley to go on the Pride March (41 per cent versus 30 per cent of men).

Gay Consumer Behaviour

Gay Life and Style visitors were up-market, with two-fifths falling into professional classes AB, and a further one-third were C1s (typically office workers).

Salary levels were much higher than the national average (around £18,000) at £30,000 per annum (gay men £31,000, and lesbians at £26,000). The amount of monthly disposable income was £663, but far higher for men, at £743, than for women at £493. Frequenters of the gay scene were found to be higher earners than non-scene gays, both males and females.

Average monthly amounts spent on consumables were as follows:

Music / CDs

On average, gay survey participants were taking one holiday in the UK and two holidays Abroad per year. In addition, an average of three short breaks were taken per year. The average cost of the last main holiday taken was £637.

Three quarters of gay people said they avoided buying from companies with a reputation for being homophobic. Moreover, four in five gay people made a positive point of buying from companies that have a pro-gay stance.

Over four in five gay people had Internet access by some means, with 64 per cent having access in their home, and 51 per cent having access at work.

Being gay in the UK today

Some good news is that the overwhelming majority of people interviewed (96 per cent) thought that public attitudes towards homsexuality in the UK had become more positive in the past five years. In addition 68 per cent felt that British current attitudes towards homosexuality were 'quite' positive although only four per cent considered attitudes to be 'very' positive.

More good news was that 61 per cent of people interviewed believed that, generally, society is becoming more tolerant towards gay people. But the UK appears to be lagging behind its continental neighbours. Almost half saw the UK as being less positive than the rest of Europe in its attitudes towards homosexuality:

Holland 48
Denmark 8
Spain 4
Australia 3
Germany 3
France 2
Sweden 2
Scandinavia 1
New Zealand 1
Belgium 1


Most gay people have at some point suffered verbal abuse and one in six have actually been beaten up, both at school and on the street:

Verbal abuse
Physical abuse
At school
Within the family
In the workplace
In a public place
On the street

People were asked to record areas of their life where they had experienced discrimination:

At church 21
In hotels 19
In pubs / clubs 19
Applying for a mortgage 17
At work 17
Applying for insurance 17
At school 16
Within the family 10
In other financial matters 10
In other retail outlets 10

Anti-gay comments had been heard by nearly everybody (99 per cent) in public, with 35 per cent stating this was a regular occurance. Everybody (100 per cent) had heard or seen anti-gay comments in the media, with 42 per cent stating this occured frequently.

How does discrimination affect gay people?

Half of the people interviewed believed that the majority of gay people in this country stayed in the closet because they are fearful of the consequences of being openly gay ( a view held more strongly by lesbians). Almost half also felt that gay people suffered from low self-esteem as a result of discrimination against their sexuality.

Two in five gay people said they felt frequently compromised about disclosing their gay identity in the presence of straight people. Half of gay people also felt that the bombing of the Admiral Duncan pub was an indirect consequence of gay discrimination in society at large.

A substantial minority (18 per cent) felt that their mental health had suffered on account of being gay. A similar number (17 per cent) felt their career had been hampered because they were gay.

What we read

Almost a third claimed not to read any mainstream national press regularly. Among those who did 35 per cent felt The Guardian had the most positive stance, with The Independent at 22 per cent. The Daily Mail was seen as having the most negative stance by 40 per cent, followed by The Sun at 35 per cent and The Daily Telegraph at 12 per cent.

Top of the Pops

Most popular holiday destinations:
Spain 16 %
- North America 14 %

Most Pro-gay politicians:
- Ken Livingstone 31%,
- Chris Smith 19%,
- Tony Blair 11%,
- Peter Tatchell 4%

Pro-gay figures who are not gay themselves:
- Ken Livingstone 29%,
- Madonna 15%,
- Kylie Minogue 11%,
- Mo Mowlam 10%

Politicians we hate:
- Baroness Young 30%
- William Hague 24%
- Anne Widdecombe 21%

Most anti-gay public figures:
- Brian Souter 28%
- Baroness Young 17%
- The Pope 12%

Voting intentions

Last election
Next election

The current Government was seen by 62 per cent of gay people to have a positive stance towards homosexuality, although only 5 per cent considered its stance to be 'very' positive.

Download a pdf version of this report

Research conducted by Stormbreak on the stand
at The Gay Life & Style 2000 Exhibition
and published in the Gay Business Association newsletter July 2000


A presentation to brand managers at Heathrow Airport on 4 September 1996.

Report by Stephen Coote

PRIDE TRUST - plans for the future

At a presentation to brand managers (at Heathrow Airport on 4 September 1996), Teddy Witherington, director of the Pride Festival, outlined plans for future Pride events.

In 1996 the annual Pride Festival raised around £175,000 from sponsors, and a further £175,000 from donations at the gate. The sponsors included household names like Virgin Megastores, Levi Strauss, and United Airlines; as well as gay businesses like Clone Zone, Kaltons Solicitors, Pride Video, Gay Xchange, and Portland Insurance. Other sponsors included UNIson, Health Education Authority, Stonewall, Big Up, Kenric, Trade, DTPM, Kitty Lips, Substation, Popstarz, plus brands like Grolsch, Evian, Allied Domecq, and San Miguel.

It is now a top international event, attracting 220,000 in 1996 according to the Met Police, and there are now plans to actively promote the event abroad for the first time. The aim is to increase the number of overseas visitors from a current 3 per cent to between 7 and 10 per cent. This would grow Pride tourist income to London from 3.6 million pounds to 20 million pounds, with an additional 25,000 visitors.

It is planned to extend Pride into a week of quality events and activities, and in 1999 to be host to EuroPride, possibly in Hyde Park.

BASS TAVERNS - largest gay business in Europe.

Bass created a separate division to manage its gay houses two years ago, reported Jillian MacLean to a meeting of brand managers (at Heathrow Airport on 4 September 1996). There are now 24 pubs in the portfolio, including the recently opened Queens Court in Leeds and the Paradise, at The Adelphi in The Strand, London. There are 11 in London alone, and the 1994/95 turnover was 8.7 million pounds excluding VAT. The volumes included 12,457 beer barrels, 322,073 soft drink units, 1,300 cases of wine, and 2,700 spirit cases. The highest turnover is at The Brief Encounter, in St Martins Lane.

Between 1994 and 1995 the total growth of sales for gay houses was 18 per cent, compared to the average in London of 10 per cent.

A structured capital investment programme over the last 18 months has seen the redevelopment Comptons of Soho onto two floors, resulting in a 55 per cent year on year increase in turnover. The Brief Encounter, Halfway to Heaven and the Penny Farthing will have 1.4 million pounds spent on them in the next few months.

Plans include the development of Cyber Bars, a tourist guide to London with THUD magazine, and new types of bars including some especially for women, and some with a European style aimed at younger customers.

Bass are involved with the Pride Trust not just at the event itself, but in fund-raising throughout the year. The gay bars have raised over 55,000 pounds for charities including the Terrence Higgins Trust and London Lighthouse.

Bass is the 26th largest company in the UK, and they also own the Holiday Inn chain, which in New York sponsors the Gay Business fair.

Recent market research has found that 95 per cent of Bass gay house customers are male, and they are young, up-market, high spending, and prepared to travel. It indicates that the London market is not yet saturated. Bass are also working with the Oxford Partnership to develop hotels and other markets including business people and Japanese Tourists. A programme of repositioning is underway, with a review of the entertainment on offer, as well as monthly shopping and mystery drinker research.

UNITED AIRLINES - a sales opportunity

United Airlines decided to target gay consumers after reviewing Gay Times research which revealed that
- gay customers are predominently ABC1 social classes (77 per cent)
- they have a high disposable income
- travel is particularly popular with 79 per cent taking two or more holidays a year, and 43 per cent make their own arrangements. Key destinations are New York, San Francisco, Sydney and London (all key markets for United).
Reasons why United should sponsor Pride 96.

- United has sponsored similar Pride events in Chicago and other US cities
- a specialist sales execeutive had been appointed in the NY to deal with US gay travel agents
- a UK Sales Executive attended the Freedom Fair to seew what potential there was

United already had a comprehensive media campaign which reached gay customers, (though this did not include gay-owned titles)

Pride is an international event leading to real sales opportunities

The event supports a variety of appropriate related activities such as opportunities to test and develop interest.

The support included branding on banners at the event and an advert in the official programme and the day programme. A United Airlines marquee which gave data capture opportunities through a questionnaire. The result was excellent feedback from customers (and Staff), and letters of support from the public, including one to a senior VP in the US. There are now opportunities for further below-the-line activities.

The research showed that 15 per cent of people interviewed at Pride had taken a trip to the USA in the last year, 66 per cent had taken mroe than one trip, and 33 per cent had flown business class.

For the future there is potential for United to measurer the awareness and attitudes of potential gay customers, and to win their loyalty, and there are sales opportunities with a more internationallay promoted Pride event.

Freedom Fair / Rainbow Television1996
At the 1996 Freedom Fair, held on 30-31 March at the Business Design Centre, Rainbow Television Network Limited conducted research among the visitos which highlights some evidence of the tremendous spending power and disposable income of gay men and women attending the expo.

Over 40 per cent of the gay men and lesbians interviewed had an income over 25,000 pounds. This comapres favourably to the figure for UK homes as a whole which is only just over 25 per cent.

Just under 90 per cent of the respondents had no dependants and over a quarter were home owners.

A massive 46 per cent of those interviewed had taken an overseas holiday within the past twelve months compared to only 29 per cent of the UK population as a whole. Amost 20 per cent of the interviewees had taken two or more overseas holidays.

More than 75 per cent of the respondents spent over 200 pounds on clothes in the past 12 months with 30 per cent having spent between 500 and 1,000 pounds. A further 12 per cent claimed to have spent over 1,000 pounds on clothes during this period.

Almost 90 per cent of those interviewed ate out regularly. 70 per cent visited pubs, bars or clubs at least once a week with almost 30 per cent visiting such venues at least three times a week.

Over 30 per cent of those interviewed spent between 50 and 100 pounds per year on recorded music (CDs, cassettes or LPs).

Penetration of satellite and cable television is 12 per cent higher among gay men and women than for the UK population as a whole.

despite the fact that they were unaware of the imminent announcement of such a project, well over 80 per cent of respondents sugggested that they would be willing to subscribe to a gay entertainment and lifestyle television channel.

It is this constituency - along with a sizeable gay-friendly heterosexual following - that the Rainbow Television Network Limited will seek to attract with its quality well packaged programming mix. The station intends to be a trend-setting leader in style, fashion and music offering a real alternative to existing terrestial, satellite and cable stations which will be compulsory viewing!

Rainbow Television Network Limited 1996, PO Box 10874, London, NW8 0WJ

GBA Banking Survey

In 1994 the Gay Business Association conducted a survey of it's members about the attitude of banks to gay businesses. This revealed that, even though 50 per cent of respondents said their banks knew they were gay, only one respondent mentioned specific problems. It appears that on the whole banks concentrate on the financial intergrity of a business and any cases of homophobia are down to individual managers rather than institutionised policy.

Very few respondents had been refused accounts or overdrafts, and 40% had encountered gay bank staff (although we're not sure whether this was actually in the bank!). Two companies had had life policies refused and one had key-man insurance refused. If you have any relevant comments to add, please write to the GBA.
Gay Business Association

The Gay Lifestyle

In the National Survey of Sexual Attitudes, which polled 19,000 people in 1990 and was published in 1995, six per cent of women and 12 per cent of men had had a homosexual experience at some time. Only one per cent of women and 4.3 per cent of men admitted to having had a gay partner in the previous five years.

In a survey of Time Out readers in 1993, 20 per cent of women readers and 38 per cent of men had had sexual relations with a same sex partner, and 13 per cent of women and 22 per cent of men readers described themselves as gay or bisexual.

In a survey of Gay Times readers, 7 per cent of readership were female. Kim Watson reports that lesbians earn less than gay men (though they earn £3000 more than the general female population of Britain). 43 per cent earn less than £10,000 pa and only one per cent earn more than £35,000 (compared with 6 per cent of gay men). Lesbians smoke more (46 per cent against 29 per cent of gay men). Lesbians prefer two wheels: twice as many lesbians as gay men own motorbikes, and 54 per cent own a bicycle (32 per cent of gay men). More lesbians own computer games and drink bottles lagers and vodka; gay men drink more spirits and wine. More lesbians are 'out' to their straight friends (70 per cent compared to 58 per cent), and they are much more likely (41 per cent) to be living with their partners.

Brit Kids capped by liberal Dutch

Nearly two-thirds of Britain's young people believe there is little wrong with homosexuality and 79 per cent disagreed with the statement that "AIDS is a gay disease" in a survey of 1,600 16 to 24 year olds conducted across Europe by satellite channel MTV.

But the survey revealed only 31 per cent of UK youth believe gay people should be allowed to adopt. Just over a third of the young people supported single-sex marriages.

Young people in Holland came out tops for liberalism, with 89 per cent saying homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle.

The Pink Paper, 14 February 1997

Gay Business Association

The GBA is compiling more data on the pink economy, and would welcome comments, research, copies of thesis, and other statistics that are relevant.

The Gay Business Association has over 150 members whose aim is to help gay people select appropriate companies to do business with. People can be sure that by keeping their pink pound within the community, we can strengthen it economically. This in turn helps our ability to fight for equality and an end to prejudice and discrimination. There is also the need to work with people who understand our particular needs and sensitivities.

The GBA welcomes new members, either businesses (£150 pa) or individual associates (£50 pa), ask for an application form.

Gay Business Association
BCM-GBA, London, WC1N 3XX
Tel 0700 225 5422
Fax 0700 232 9422

GMFA Gay Men's Census

Gay Men Fighting AIDS are planning a major survey of gay men's sexual activities and attitudes. At the same time they hope to evaluate commercial interests of the respondents. If you are interesting in helping, or sponsoring the work, please contact GMFA's ?Queery? group on 020 7738 6872.

GMFA- Gay Men Fighting AIDS

© Stephen Coote & Associates

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