While Christmas is traditionally a time to spend time with your nearest and dearest, that’s not always the best experience for LGBTQ people.
Gay dating app Chappy – in partnership with Survation – has found that nearly half of gay men have experienced homophobia from direct family members during visits home.
This, of course, results in anxiety about visiting family members at Christmas time, but can also cause depression.
Breaking down that statistic, 30% of the gay men asked in the survey said they had experienced those reactions in the homes of close family, while the other 17% in the presence of extended family.
“We understand the Christmas period can be an anxious time for many members of the community, especially when particular family members are imposed upon them,” said Ollie Locke, Co-Founder of Chappy.
“We hope that if people are feeling isolated, Chappy provides some respite by offering a transparent safe haven with chat to someone.
“All of our users must be verified via Facebook and all profile pictures must show a face, and real name – this transparency encourages Chappy users to be far more respectful of one another.”
Psychotherapist Lee Valls added: “It’s increasingly common for gay men to feel isolated and alone all year round. This is only exasperated during the festive season when cut off from the social support system gay men so often rely upon.
“Spending long periods of time with family members can often cause anxiety, sparking difficult memories of coming out, and the insensitive comments made by family members – it’s worrying, but no surprise that 47% of gay men have experienced homophobia from family members.”
Chappy and Survation’s study polled 518 men in the UK.
The gay dating app recently launched their global Don’t be a Dick campaign, which highlighted the regular use of prejudicial language and attitudes from users on gay dating platforms.
Chappy created a video that hears gay men speak openly about their experiences, ranging from blatant racism and ageism, to fat-shaming, fem-shaming, and even homophobia.
The Chappy Pledge must be signed by all new and existing users, and commits them to being considerate to fellow users.
If anyone does not adhere to the new pledge, they will be permanently banned from using the platform.