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Ireland’s Gay and Lesbian Community: Well Connected But Many Still In The Closet at Work


Groundbreaking new GLBT market research data on the Irish gay and lesbian community is released today. The most comprehensive lesbian and gay market research ever into the GLBT community in Ireland reveals much about the Irish gay and lesbian community.

Dublin, Ireland -- (OUT NOW) June 15, 2007 -- New lesbian and gay market research released today reveals that Ireland’s 200,000 gays and lesbians are living lives that are diverse and could often be described as ’well lived’.

But when it comes to being out as gay at work a quite different story emerges.

Research respondents reported on in the “Out Now 2007 GCN Ireland Gay Community Market Report” reveal a wealth of new Ireland gay community market data.

The most comprehensive research of Ireland’s gay and lesbian communities ever has revealed Ireland’s gay and lesbian community are often well-educated, well-paid, well-travelled and living happily in relationships.

Yet half of all those surveyed for this research said they cannot ’come out’ to all they work with. Only 50% of those surveyed said they can be totally open about their sexuality at work. Out Now research in other markets shows that this compares with 51% in the UK, 61% in Australia and 66% of gay research respondents in the Netherlands who say they can be open about their sexuality at work.

Ian Johnson, CEO of Out Now Consulting who carried out the research for GCN described the research as “groundbreaking”.

“Ireland is home to almost 200,000 lesbians and gay men,” said Johnson. “The research indicates they are often well-educated, well-travelled, living in relationships and many are well-paid. Yet only 50% of this sample say they can be open about their own sexuality with everyone they work with. We think that is not good enough.”

“It is more productive and more effective for corporate team building when what is clearly a well educated and well connected group of people can all be comfortable at work being honest about who they really are,” according to Johnson. “The fact that this is not happening means Irish companies need to work harder at building more supportive work environments for all staff, including lesbians and gay men. Paying more attention to diversity gives companies real benefits in both retaining lesbian and gay staff and increasing workplace productivity.”

According to the editor of GCN, Brian Finnegan, the report reveals much and is the first-ever in-depth look at the lesbian and gay community in Ireland.

“We are delighted to have these findings,” said Finnegan. “For so many years people pass their opinions on the lives of lesbians and gay men, usually without knowing the facts. Now, as a result of this new research, we understand more than ever before about the many thousands of gays and lesbians in Ireland who are our readers.”

In other results from the research report released today:

- internet access is now almost total in the Irish gay segment, with more than 97% of respondents regularly using the internet.

- average spend on online shopping is EUR€3766 each year.

- average income levels are high (EUR€44,614 annual pre-tax income).

- gay male respondents earn more (EUR€47,316) each year than lesbian respondents (EUR€42,468).

- there was an almost even split between respondents that prefer full marriage rights (51%) to those who prefer Civil Partnerships (49%).

- 9 out of 10 respondents would consider formalising their relationships if such laws are enacted in Ireland.

- gay voters prefer the Labour and Greens political parties.

- most respondents (54%) are currently in a relationship.

GCN is the leading lesbian and gay media product in the Irish market.

Out Now Consulting has, since 1992, been involved in gay market research and marketing to gay and lesbian communities around the world.

“Many organisations, companies and brands, want to better understand the complexities of the Irish gay and lesbian market,” said Johnson. “Now that is possible. This new gay market research means that through a better understanding of the consumer, marketing and social issues faced by Irish gay and lesbian people, lesbian and gay community attitudes and concerns will be addressed.”

Finnegan acknowledges that better understanding of its gay audience will help the not-for-profit GCN to meet the needs of both its audience and its advertisers. “We rely heavily on advertisers at GCN to allow us to deliver a world-class product. Now, with a clearer knowledge of lesbian and gay Irish people, we can do that even better,” he said.

Notes to editors:

6% of Irish adults are believed to be lesbian or gay. Source: Out Now Consulting, 1994/2005.

About the research:

Any reference to this information must include the following credit and refer to the data source as: “Out Now 2007 GCN Ireland Gay Community Market Report”, for copyright reasons.

The sample comprises 1191 respondents surveyed from October 2006 to January 2007.

This sample is the most comprehensive analysis ever of the lesbian and gay community in Ireland. The research covers a wealth of areas for which no data has ever existed and measures Irish lesbian and gay lives in greater detail than ever before. It is not a census and best represents the sample from which the data is drawn, namely the consumers of GCN - the LGBT media product accessed by more Irish gays and lesbians than any other. Research data reflects the readership of GCN which is Ireland’s most widely read gay media publication. The publication distributes across Ireland with a male skew and a Dublin skew.

Respondents were asked to answer a large number of questions related to politics, lifestyle, attitudes, opinions, consumption, expenditure, income, employment, personal relationships and parenting.

About GCN:

GCN (Gay Community News) is Ireland’s longest-running national gay publication. It was first published in 1988 and has a remit to educate and inform its readers about political issues, to entertain them, speak about gay culture, and give access to a greater sense of community. It is a high-quality, full-colour magazine with a lifestyle focus. GCN attracts brand advertisers targeting the gay market in areas including men’s skincare, cosmetic surgery, consumer electronics, financial services, travel, technology and automotive.

GCN is distributed across Ireland, north and south, and from 2007 in selected UK points.

About Out Now Consulting:

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 organizations 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, VisitBritain, Lufthansa, South African Tourism and Citibank.

Out Now Consulting won a 2007 ‘Images in Advertising’ award - for a recent gay advertising campaign for Lufthansa - at the Commercial Closet Awards on June 11 in New York City.

For further information please contact:

Ian Johnson, CEO
Out Now Consulting

UK landline: +44-(0)20-8123 5288
BE landline: +32-(0)2-514 6443
BE mobile: +32-(0)4737 60886

Brian Finnegan
Mobile: +353-(0)86 835 3775
Landline: +353-1-671 0939
Landline: +353-1-671 9076



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