Pete Buttigieg’s departure from the Democratic primaries came about a week after a campaign trail experience in which a 9-year-old boy asked the candidate for advice on how to come out as gay.
How old is old enough to know whether you are gay? When do people come out?
There is no universal answer, of course, but we have some ideas and have shared them in “100 Questions and Answers About Sexual Orientation.”
In a Pew Research Center study, “Lesbian, gay and bisexual survey respondents were asked how old they were when they first felt they might be something other than straight or heterosexual. The median age across all LGB adults is 12, although there are some differences across groups. Gay men report, on average, thinking around age 10 that they might not be straight. For both lesbians and bisexuals, the median age is 13.”
And when do people come out and tell others? The average age is 14 to 16, according to San Francisco University’s Family Acceptance Project. This is younger than in the 1970s, when the average age was the early to mid-20s.