Number of Australians coming out on Facebook doubles in year

The social media giant the amount of Australians coming out has “risen significantly”.

The number of people coming out as LGBT on Facebook daily has doubled in Australia since the start of 2015, the social media network has announced.

Facebook measured the number of LGBT Australians by monitoring which of its 14 million Australian users changed the “interested in” field to reflect their sexuality.

The social media network found that the number of people showing a same-gender interest, an interest in both genders or entering into a same-sex relationship on their profile had nearly doubled.

The analysis did not reveal what the daily number of Australians coming out or total number of LGBT Australians were.

However, Facebook insisted “the total number of Australians who have come out on Facebook has risen substantially”.

“Across the country, we observed large increases in fan growth of Australian LGBTIQ Facebook pages, which demonstrates an interest to hear from and engage with the issues that matter to the LGBTIQ community,” a statement said.

“In every capital city, the fan growth has either doubled or nearly doubled in terms of the number of fans of Australian LGBTIQ pages.”

The largest rises in Australians coming out came around Sydney’s March 2015 Mardi Gras festival, the Irish referendum in May, and US supreme court decision to legalise same-sex marriage in June.

Facebook said “we are thrilled that people around the world are using the platform to express their support for the Australian LGBTIQ community”.

The results come as the debate surrounding same-sex marriage rages on in Australia.

Despite an overwhelming majority of the Australian public supporting equal marriage and a majority of MPs in favour, the current Liberal-led Coalition government refuses to put the issue to a free Parliamentary vote due to deep political divisions.

Instead, the government is planning a marriage plebiscite (public vote) after the election in 2017 – a measure which has been derided as costly, bureaucratic and pointless, given anti-gay marriage MPs insist they will not consider the vote binding either way.