When the US Supreme Court made its monumental June 25 ruling in favor of gay marriage, many people in the country threw up their arms in joy. Now, perhaps heartened by the change, an unprecedented number of Americans are coming out on social media.
Figures released by Facebook on Thursday (Oct. 15) show higher-than-ever numbers of US users listing themselves as romantically interested in same gender partners or in both male and female partners; announcing a same-sex relationship; or using a custom gender.
The social media network found that the number of users coming out in one of the above ways has approximately doubled since the same time last year (chart below). One standout spike was the number of people who came out on June 25, the day of the Supreme Court ruling—that’s 2.5x higher than on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day, last year.
According to Facebook, roughly 800,000 US users have updated their profiles to express a custom gender or attraction toward the same gender in the last year. The company wrote in a blog post that “the number of people on Facebook coming out per day is on track to be three times what it was a year ago.”
The data isn’t normalized for the number of new users Facebook has gained in the past year. Regardless, the numbers are staggering. The number of users who “like” LGBT pages has also risen 25% in the last year, Facebook says.
Facebook attributes other spikes in coming-out rates to events like World AIDS Day, Diane Sawyer’s interview of Caitlyn Jenner in April, and the day that oral arguments were heard for the Supreme Court marriage case.
In total, the company claims, more than 6 million people have come out on Facebook since the network was first launched.