No, this is not a self-hating gay article. If you were excited for that then kindly move along, there’s nothing to see here. Instead let’s look at some math.
Imagine the following situation: you’re at a dinner party where most of the guests get to choose 1 dish from the spread and they can eat as much of it as they like. A few unlucky souls, however, have a reduced number of dishes they can choose from, and they can’t eat as much as they want, they can eat up to a limit.
This crude example is what it feels like to be gay in our society, or in general really. Not only are marriage rights denied to us, the dating pool in the “gay community” is much smaller than it is for heterosexual individuals. Just the simple fact that one of the highest estimates for “number of gay people” in America is about 10%, which in reality is a figure likely closer to 4% or 5%, shows this to be true.
Let’s take it a little farther though. In maths there is something called the “choose function”, which lets you see how many total combinations are available if you chose, say, 2 people out of the total population of gay people in a given area. The common way to verbally express the choose function is “n choose k”. Assuming 5% homosexual population, and an equal distribution of homosexuals across the 50 states, and further assuming that any 2 homosexuals or any two heterosexuals in that area have an equally likely chance of fancying each other. The differences between the number of possibilities is staggering.
Take California, for example, with 5% of the 38 million inhabiting the state, that comes to be about 2 million estimated gay people in California. Put “2 million choose 2” into our choose function and we get about 2 trillion combinations for gay people, which sounds like a lot but let’s look at our heterosexual counterparts.
Subtracting our number for the total number of gay people in the state from the total population we get 36 million, dividing by two, to account for the equal amounts of men and women in the state, we get 18 million. Plugging 18 million into our choose function and we get approximately 162 trillion possible combinations.
Obviously these numbers are idealized, and a much higher level of statistical analysis would be needed to give a really significant comparison between the two populations, taking into account those not in the dating pool, etc. The numbers are still telling.
That there is an 81 fold higher amount of possible dating combinations for straight people should give anybody pause to think about how hard it is for the gay friends or family in their life to find a significant other, let alone somebody they’re compatible with, and how emotionally draining it can be to be surrounded by heterosexual examples of what they’re missing.
If you want to take a look at the numbers yourself WolframAlpha is a great resource for extracting information from common math equations.